New Mexico Ethics Watch Releases Essential Resources For Establishment Of Independent Ethics Commission
New Mexico Ethics Watch (NMEW), a nonprofit dedicated to promoting ethics in governance and public life, Friday released its Essential Resources for the Establishment of an Independent Ethics Commission.
The document centralizes essential resources for policy discussions regarding the establishment of the ethics commission, on the heels of voters’ approval of the ethics commission constitutional amendment by a roughly 75 percent to 25 percent margin.
NMEW participated, in the recent interim, in the Ethics Commission Working Group, chaired by State Sen. Linda Lopez and former State Rep. Jim Dines. While the working group met numerous times during the recent interim and crafted a draft ethics commission enabling legislation bill, strong and differing opinions on issues such as transparency and jurisdiction kept the group from achieving consensus on a complete bill. Consequently, NMEW anticipates that multiple versions of ethics commission enabling legislation will be introduced during the current legislative session, with much work and impactful choices still to be made by legislators as they craft the important legislation.
NMEW’s Essential Resources document provides links to the ratified constitutional amendment, Ethics Commission Working Group draft legislation, previous ethics commission legislation, New Mexico literature regarding an independent ethics commission, research from national organizations re: characteristics of ethics commissions across the nation, assessments of the current system of ethics oversight in New Mexico, principles of an effective ethics commission, the NM Legislative Council Service Ethics Guide, the report of the 2006 Task Force on Ethics Reform in NM, as well as the governing provisions of law for the NM Judicial Standards Commission.
“Much time and effort has been spent over the years by dedicated, involved, smart people, in the effort to create a strong, transparent, independent ethics commission in New Mexico. The resources produced in their efforts are worth reviewing and considering, and having them at one’s fingertips will be beneficial for legislators, the public and the press,” NMEW Executive Director Kathleen Sabo said.
New Mexico Ethics Watch is a non-partisan organization founded in 2016 dedicated to promoting ethics and accountability in government and public life. NMEW advances its mission through research, compliance actions, policy advocacy, public education and media outreach.
NMEW’s Essential Resources for the Establishment of an Independent Ethics Commission can be accessed at http://nmethicswatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/NMEW-Ethics-Resource-Brief.pdf