March 6, 2023

Campaign Finance Reporting Act update clears first House committee

A bill proposing to amend Campaign Reporting Act to simplify campaign reporting compliance for certain elected officials passed its first House committee hearing.

“This bill reacts to gaps that we have seen in the statute we passed in 2019 and attempts to close those gaps,” bill co-sponsor Senate Majority Floor Leader Sen. Peter Wirth said.

The bill was approved by the House Government, Elections and Indian Affairs Committee on an 8-1 vote with Rep. John Block, R-Alamogordo, as the sole vote against SB 42.

“I think there’s a huge loophole where you could have a PAC, and you could be running a lot of money through that PAC that’s not affiliated during the session. So I think if we could maybe extend to more than just directly type entities that might clear it up a little bit,” Block said.

One of the committee members who voted for the bill was Rep. Bill Rehm, R-Albuquerque, explained his vote.

More: Campaign Reporting Act update passes House

“I think this fills a lot of the gaps that we’ve seen in the past. The only thing I would consider is if the candidate who is sitting in office has, let’s say, less than $5,000 that you can make a contribution to them. And why you say that is we know the end of session letters are expensive, you know, to go ahead and help them but I guess what you can do is back up and go and get a loan and then in the interim, get the money to pay it back. But that’s the only problem that I see and, I mean, we can fix it,” Rehm said.

A similar bill to HB 103 which is currently awaiting a hearing in the Senate Rules Committee. HB 103 passed the House on a 48-21 vote.