Ethics Commission Act unanimously passes House

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By Carol A. Clark

The State Ethics Commission Act bill unanimously passed the House of Representatives Tuesday.

HB 151 proposes to create an independent State Ethics Commission, as 40 other states have, to oversee ethics education, training, advisory opinions and investigations throughout state government.

“Ethics are always something we need,” said Rep. Jeannette Wallace, R-Los Alamos, during an interview from Santa Fe  this morning. “But sometimes when the public gets involved they just look at certain elements. We need to not just look at legislators and finance reform; we need to look at many other areas. The awarding of contracts without going through the proper process is one of our biggest problems. We need ethics reform but we need to include all of these areas.”

This is the third year that Rep. Mary Helen Garcia, D-Las Cruces has sponsored legislation to form a State Ethics Commission.

“This is a critical component of ethics and campaign reform in New Mexico,” Garcia said in a release.

“By establishing an ethics commission, the citizens of New Mexico can be reassured that all ethical issues will be investigated and the reported findings will be acted upon.”

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