Tabled: Plan to limit double-dipping by lawmakers

A proposal that would have prevented state lawmakers with government jobs from getting paid while serving in the Legislature was put on hold Monday by the House Government, Elections and Indian Affairs Committee. Rep. Bill Rehm, R-Bernalillo, said his goal with the bill (HB 39)was to keep the state government from paying people twice. Many of New Mexico’s part-time civilian legislators have days jobs in local government, and although state lawmakers are unpaid for their service, they do receive mileage reimbursement and a per-diem to cover travel expenses. Rehm said allowing public employees to take a salary while serving in Santa Fe would violate the state constitution. Members of the committee took issue with forcing state employees to take time off of work.

Ethics Commission Clears First Hurdle

A proposal to establish a statewide independent ethics commission (HJR 5) passed its first committee Friday with a unanimous vote, the measure’s future is far from clear.

NM AG Promises more FOI enforcement

Attorney General Hector Balderas has created an Open Government Division in his office to beef up enforcement of New Mexico’s freedom-of-information laws, and though the process has had a few hiccoughs, transparency advocates are optimistic that the office will be more aggressive.