A bill that would stop former legislators, Public Regulation Commission members and cabinet secretaries from becoming paid lobbyists for two years after they leave the position is headed to the House floor. HB 241 passed the House Judiciary Committee after a short debate. The legislation passed the House last year but failed to pass the Senate. A companion bill is being sponsored by Bill O’Niell, D-Albuquerque, in the Senate. The Senate version has not received a committee hearing yet.
A House committee failed to pass a bill that would require more information from lobbyists at the state legislature. With one Republican member missing, The House Regulation and Public Affairs Committee voted 3-3 on a motion to pass HB 155, meaning the bill stays in the committee. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Jeff Steinborn, D-Las Cruces, proposes to add more information to reports from lobbyists and their respective employers. The bill would also add requirements for how long the Secretary of State’s Office is required to post information about lobbyists. Viki Harrison, the executive director for political advocacy group Common Cause New Mexico was Steinborn’s expert witness.
[box type=”info” style=”rounded”]VIKI HARRISON is the Executive Director of Common Cause NM and the former Executive Director of NM Repeal, where she led the successful campaign to abolish the death penalty in NM. A stalwart of NM politics and advocacy and a graduate of UNM, Viki was also part of the team that secured NM’s historic cockfighting ban.[/box]
There’s an old classic by Ray Charles titled “You Don’t Know Me,” that features these lyrics: No you don’t know the one Who dreams of you at night; And longs to kiss your lips And longs to hold you tight Oh I’m just a friend. That’s all I’ve ever been. Cause you don’t know me. And boy is that an apt description of all the money flowing into our elections here in New Mexico!