By Steve Terrell
The New Mexican
After six years of trying to require "dark money" organizations and other independent-expenditure groups to report their political backers, supporters of campaign-finance reform got their bill through the state House of Representatives on Monday night.
The House on Monday passed Senate Bill 96, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth, D-Santa Fe, and Rep. Jim Smith, D-Sandia Park. The bipartisan vote was 41 to 24. Six Republicans joined with the 35 Democrats to vote for the bill.
The Senate had already passed the bill, but it will have to go back there for consideration of House amendments. If the Senate doesn't oppose any of the changes, it will go to Gov. Susana Martinez for signature. She has signaled some interest in the bill.
"This is huge," said Viki Harrison, executive director of Common Cause New Mexico, which for years has been the major group pushing the issue. "The citizens of New Mexico support this. Our poll found 91 percent support this."
Harrison said she doubts the Senate will have any trouble with the House amendments – mostly technical changes. She noted that Wirth was in the House chamber during the vote and he had no problem with the amendments.