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?