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New Mexico special session costs: By the numbers

As New Mexico’s special legislative session begins its seventh day, here are two quick charts that give a historical perspective on how much a special session costs. Since 1990, lawmakers have held 17 special sessions at a total cost of $5.2 million for 129 days. That’s based on data from Legislative Service Council. Here’s a look at the total cost of each of those sessions:

That’s an average cost per day of $40,461, though average costs per day have ranged from about $17,841 in 2007, a year in which the Senate met fewer days, to $65,405 in 2002 for a single-day session. Here’s a look at the number of days of each session, the month they were held, the total cost and the average cost.

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Join us next month for Transparency Summer Camps

Want to empower yourself with mad analytical skills to become a better citizen and government watchdog? Are you a reporter and looking for helpful tools to interrogate New Mexico’s unwieldy campaign finance system? Join us for two seminars July 21 in Las Cruces and July 23 in Albuquerque featuring NMID’s Sandra Fish and Foundation for Open Government (FOG) Executive Director Susan Boe.

House Bill 105

Transparency legislation isn’t quite as transparent as billed

Lobbyists may end up reporting far less of their spending on lawmakers under a bill lauded for improving the state’s campaign finance system. House Bill 105, signed into law by Gov. Susana Martinez on Monday, aims to make it easier for the public to access information about campaign contributions and lobbyists’ reporting. But the bill also ends a requirement that lobbyists report cumulative spending on lawmakers, and increases the limit for reporting from $75 to $100 per event.