Martinez Signs Open Data Bill To Improve Campaign Finance Information System

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In front of a group of commercial real estate developers, Gov. Susana Martinez signed a bill she said will make the campaign finance system more accurate and transparent, and make it easier for the public to access the information.

The measure (HB 105), co-sponsored by Rep. Jim Smith, R-Tijeras, and Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto, D-Albuqerque, requires lobbyists to report each time they spend more than $100 to influence elected officials. It had the support of groups like Common Cause who said it represents an incremental improvement to the disclosure of money in politics.

The bill also forces candidates and contributors to file their reports online and changes the way that information is handled by the Secretary of State’s office, making it easier to catch unintentional mistakes—or illegal activity.

It requires that the information be more easily downloadable, sortable and searchable by the public, and it standardizes the information submitted so that it’s easier to match a contribution reported by a political action committee, for example, to a donation reported by a candidate.

The proposal had bipartisan sponsorship and was approved unanimously in the House and Senate.

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