2016 New Mexico lobbyist expense details

Below are details for New Mexico lobbyists’ expenses from lobbyists reports filed during the 2016 legislative session, May 2016, October 2016, and Jan. 17. Names of lawmakers have not been standardized. Search by lobbyist or lawmakers, or sort by dates, amounts, etc. A copy of the data in a Google spreadsheet is available here.

2016 New Mexico lobbyist expenses

Below is a list of lobbyists, their employers in 2016, and the total expenses they filed with the New Mexico Secretary of State’s office for the 2016 reporting period2. Totals include 48-hour reports of expenses of $500 or more, as well as reports filed in May 2016, October 2016 and on Jan. 17. You may search for a lobbyist’s name or a specific company or sort the columns alphabetically or by amount. Or just peruse the information.

New lawmakers express optimism about session

The 2017 Legislature kicked off at the Roundhouse Tuesday, and the first order of business was Gov. Susana Martinez’s state of the state address to the legislature. That speech featured many proposals the Republican governor has advocated for years – reinstating the death penalty, avoiding tax increases, holding back third graders who can’t read and increased penalties for DUIs. But she also advocated bipartisanship, probably a necessary step when Democrats control the Legislature. Opening day is largely one of pomp and circumstance, especially for new lawmakers and their families. For New Mexico In Depth and KSFR Radio, we tracked down five new lawmakers in the boisterous capitol and asked about their day, the state of the state address and their goals for the 60-day session.

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Problems persist with capital outlay system

Hundreds of millions of infrastructure dollars sit unspent across New Mexico as state lawmakers search for cash to cover a budget deficit. And with only $60 million available, it’s unlikely the Legislature will fund the usual number of projects in their districts this legislative session. Capital outlay bills are typically a top priority every year for the Legislature, funding everything from new and renovated state buildings to small local projects and, in some years, highway improvements. Some hope that lack of money this year will spark talk of reforming a system where individual lawmakers allocate money for specific projects but rarely reveal exactly how they spent the money. That pork barrel process, unique to New Mexico, has contributed to the vast amounts of money sitting unspent on projects that either aren’t wanted, don’t qualify, aren’t ready to start or aren’t fully funded.

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2017 Legislative Session: Happenings on opening day

There are lots of ways to keep up with opening day at the state Legislature and Gov. Susana Martinez’s state of the state address. One is through social media. New Mexico In Depth is bringing it all together right here. Refresh your page to catch any updates – and be sure to click on “read the next page.” [View the story “Opening day of 2017 legislative session” on Storify]

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Leadership shift sparks hope for supporters of campaign finance reform

New Mexico’s campaign finance system needs a major retooling. This is not a new revelation. For years the Secretary of State’s office and supporters of reform have said as much. Some of the law’s provisions are unconstitutional and therefore unenforceable. Inconsistencies and loopholes in the act make following the trail of money in politics difficult. And the law fails to acknowledge the recent rise of money flowing into campaigns from independent groups.

Lobbyist Money

More PACs reported donating to lawmakers during special session

New Mexico bans lobbyists or their employers from giving money to lawmakers or candidates running for legislative seats anytime the Legislature is in session.

But it isn’t clear from a review of reports filed by legislators, candidates and political action committees covering the Sept. 30-Oct. 6 special session if everyone understands the law or even remembers it is on the books.

In addition, a lack of standard reporting requirements and spotty or sloppy entries appear to make it difficult to know when and if a violation has occurred.

Out-of-state money dominates giving for biggest PACs

New Mexico political action committees raised $16.5 million and spent nearly $15.8 million from 2015 through Dec. 3. Leading the way were GOP super PAC Advance New Mexico Now and Democratic super PAC Patriot Majority New Mexico, with both groups targeting key legislative races. Advance still had $284,000 in cash left as of Dec. 3, money that could have been spent in its efforts to help Republicans retain control of the state House.