Only 2 of 112 lawmakers consent to share information publicly

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Republican state representatives Dennis Roch of Logan and Jim Dines of Albuquerque so far are the only state lawmakers, out of 112, who have agreed to publicly share allocations they’ve made for brick-and-mortar projects.

It’s been a week since New Mexico In Depth asked all 112 current lawmakers to share that information publicly. But NMID mostly has heard silence from state lawmakers — not a surprise given how New Mexico scores when it comes to accountability, ethics and transparency. Or how little New Mexico shares publicly compared to other states.

Every legislative session, each of New Mexico’s 112 state lawmakers is allowed to allocate money for brick-and-mortar projects. That translated to around $271 million in public tax dollars from 2010 through 2014 and 1,700 projects around the state.

But unless you receive permission from individual lawmakers, the Legislative Council Service won’t share that information with the public.

New Mexico In Depth discovered this situation  earlier this year when Legislative Council staff cited legislative privilege in refusing to release specific amounts allocated by specific lawmakers.

Starting this week, New Mexico In Depth will keep a running tally of lawmakers who have consented to share their information publicly and will post updates regularly to our site.

We’ll keep doing this up to and through the 2016 legislative session if we have to. The session begins January 19 in Santa Fe.

Meanwhile, we’ll continue to ask what we think is a very salient question: Why do lawmakers believe how they individually allocate public dollars is not public information?

9 thoughts on “Only 2 of 112 lawmakers consent to share information publicly

  1. Did I miss something or are you going to share the allocations made by the two lawmakers that did respond? A running total as more realize they need to “show their cards” would be helpful. Silence is revelation in itself.

  2. ThinkNM’s proposal to reform the whole capital outlay process based on need-based, transparent, accountable decision-making will go a long way in addressing NM’s inequitable, secret system.

  3. Publicus, thanks for your suggestions. As for staff at the Legislative Council Service, they’re just doing their jobs and what their bosses — the NM Legislature — want.

  4. “Meanwhile, we’ll continue to ask what we think is a very salient question: Why do lawmakers believe how they individually allocate public dollars is not public information?” << Great start to an important discussion – thank you.

  5. Thanks for the article and NMID’s request to obtain NM legislative project allocation request data.

    Can you please post the actual allocation requests that were sent to the legislature? Recommend you don’t rely on the legislatures to directly tell you what they requested, ask the legislature for the paperwork they submitted to the legislature.

    Big problem here is the legislative’s lack of transparency. They should provide all of their information to whoever wants it. Legislators should be pleased with whatever they do at the legislature and gladly provide everything they do. All of these materials and others should also be available on the internet so people don’t have to request these materials, they will always be available and completely transparent. No government body should ever have control over the dissemination of their data. It is not their data to control, this data belong to the people who pay their salaries and not a bunch of government flunkies.

    Recommend you also list the names, title and contact information of the legislative council staff who refused to provide this information so readers can contact them.

    Thanks for your efforts and time, always appreciated.

    ~ Publicus NM December 1, 2015

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