ethics commission

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State ethics commissions tasked with investigating lawmakers for bad behavior are in a tricky position when they have to ask those same lawmakers for funding year after year. New Mexico’s Ethics Commission is not yet fully staffed or fully funded for 2020 after receiving only $500,000 from legislators last session.

Arianna Sena / KUNM

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.

Arianna Sena/KUNM

Let's Talk New Mexico 3/14 8a: The 2019 state legislative session ends this weekend and lawmakers have been busy. Background checks for gun sales, recreational cannabis, funding for early childhood education, an ethics commission - what have lawmakers done this year - and what have they set aside? We talked with reporters who've been covering the session. 

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For decades, legislators have repeatedly fumbled the creation of an ethics commission to stop government corruption. But voters demanded one overwhelmingly in November, and now it’s on some of the very people the commission would police—state lawmakers—to decide what it can and can’t do. They’re considering two bills this year: one where people can see what the commission’s up to and one where it’s mostly secret.

RICHIE DIESTERHEFT VIA FLICKR / CREATIVE COMMONS

Most other states around the country have some kind of watchdog agency in place to investigate politicians and other powerful people entrusted with public dollars. But New Mexico doesn’t have anything like that. So would a commission with the power to investigate and field ethics complaints help stop corruption here? The issue will be on ballots in November.

Ethics And Transparency In The 2017 Legislature

Mar 22, 2017
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These are some of the major ethics and transparency measures that flew or floundered during this year's 60-day legislative session.

Bill To Create State Ethics Commission Moves Forward

Feb 17, 2017
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A House committee in Santa Fe unanimously passed a measure Thursday that would create an independent state ethics commission.

Ethics Enforcement Gap Remains Unaddressed

Mar 9, 2016
Arianna Sena/KUNM

Polls show New Mexicans believe their government is corrupt. State lawmakers say that while there may be a few bad apples, the system we have is working.

But the facts show just the opposite: New Mexico has the widest gap in the country between the laws on the books and the way those laws are actually enforced, according to a 2015 report from the Center for Public Integrity.

Did Lawmakers Act To Improve Public Trust?

Feb 22, 2016
Gwyneth Doland

KUNM Call In Show Thu. 2/25 8a:  

State legislators passed a budget, created a REAL-ID driver's license fix, cracked down on DWI and child porn and advanced bail reform. But did they do anything to reverse the tide of indicators that New Mexicans have lost faith in state government? We look at what lawmakers did, or didn't do, to restore the public trust. 

No Ethics Commission This Year

Feb 17, 2016
Arianna Sena/KUNM

The state Senate halted an attempt to create an ethics commission on Tuesday that would have overseen the legislative and executive branches.

Still Time For Ethics Commission

Feb 11, 2016
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The state House voted Tuesday to create a statewide ethics commission. But will the proposal have time to get through the Senate? There are only eight days left in the session.

What Biz Leaders In New Mexico Want

Feb 9, 2016
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We are more than halfway through the legislative session and the bills are starting to move more quickly on their way to the finish line next Thursday. Gwyneth Doland is covering state government for the People, Power and Democracy Project. She spoke with KUNM's Chris Boros.

Poll: Biz Leaders Want Campaign Finance Reform

Feb 8, 2016
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A new survey of New Mexico business leaders shows most think there is a real problem with money in politics in the state. And some business groups are getting serious about plans to clean up state government.

Commentary: When Will We Get An Ethics Commission?

Feb 5, 2016
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New Mexico is one of only 8 states that doesn’t have an ethics commission and lawmakers are considering a proposal to create one during the legislative session this year.

Viki Harrison of Common Cause New Mexico wants to know how big the scandal has to be before our state has one here? She asks, "What are we waiting for?"

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You can read Harrison's full length op-ed published by New Mexico In Depth here

Commentary: New Mexico Needs An Ethics Commission

Jan 26, 2016
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Political science research suggests there’s a link between how much you trust your government and whether you weigh in during elections.

Voter turnout in Albuquerque’s recent city council election was the lowest in decades, and UNM Political Science Professor Gabriel Sanchez says that’s just one example of a dangerously low level of civic engagement in New Mexico. Inspire greater confidence in public officials, he says, and more people will go out and vote. 

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Governor Urges Government Reform

Jan 19, 2016
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Gov. Susana Martinez opened a 30-day session of the state legislature Tuesday with a speech urging lawmakers to make public safety their top priority. But that wasn’t the only item on her agenda.

After a year marked by high-profile public corruption cases, the two-term Republican used part of her state of the state address to encourage government reform.

Report: NM Ranks Low For Ethics, Accountability

Nov 9, 2015
Emilie Udell for the Center For Public Integrity

KUNM Call In Show Thu. 11/12 8a: 

It’s become habit in New Mexico to groan about incompetence and corruption in state government as though it’s something terrible—but out of our control. Ugh, these politicians. What can you do? 

Two Paths To An Ethics Commission

Mar 3, 2015
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Most New Mexicans think their state government is full of bad apples. The problem is, it’s really hard to tell which ones are good for us—and which ones are rotten.

According to a poll released Monday, three-quarters of New Mexico business leaders say they want the state to have an independent ethics commission. Two proposals moving through the state legislature would do just that.

Democratic Representative Brian Egolf says unlike many of our neighbors, we don’t have an organized way of investigating officials accused of corruption.