Good government bills languish at close of session

The 2016 legislative session closed with a whimper yesterday, with many lawmakers twiddling their thumbs waiting for the clock to hit noon so they could go home. In the end, Governor Martinez will receive this year around half the number of bills passed in the previous three 30-day sessions. High expectations that the state legislature would pass significant ethics and transparency measures were dashed. State lawmakers largely sat on their hands.

White House Releases Open-Data Budget

The White House released the President’s budget in an open source format, meaning citizens can explore an interactive, visual budget online. Although several other states do this, New Mexico does not.

Senate committee kills ethics and transparency reform measures

In less than an hour Tuesday morning, the Senate Rules Committee killed two good-government proposals, helping cement the Senate’s reputation as the place where ethics and transparency legislation goes to die. One proposal, HJR 5, would have asked voters in November to create a state ethics commission, an idea the New Mexico Legislature has contemplated since 2007. The other, HB 137, would have required lobbyists to report in more detail what they spend on state lawmakers and other public officials. There was not much debate on that  legislation before its quick death. There was more back-and-forth on the ethics commission proposal.