Common Cause Calling For Ethics Commission Funding
Last year’s State Ethics Commission Act allowed New Mexico to join the 46 states that have similar independent good government panels. The State Ethics Commission has been active since Jan. 1, but adequate funding is still in question.
The Legislature last year left adequate funding for the commission kind of up in the air, even after lawmakers discussed it on the House floor.
Rep. Daymon Ely told them last March there was just a half-million dollars set aside, but that if more funding was needed, the Legislature could ask for additional appropriations in the future.
"We did go to House Appropriations, and that's what's been appropriated. And if a supplemental is needed, we will approach appropriations in the finance process again."
Common Cause New Mexico, which fights for open and accountable government, is calling on the Legislature to find another $1.2 million to pay for staffing and other overhead.
Attorney Jeremy Farris was hired in September to lead the commission with at least a $125,000 starting salary. Other staff and legal council for the commision will be paid, but the seven appointed commission members will only get money for travel and per diem.
This story is part of the project: Your N.M. Government. Funding for our legislative coverage is provided, in part, by the Thornburg Foundation, the New Mexico Local News Fund and KUNM listeners like you.