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State Sen. Jeff Steinborn, a Las Cruces Democrat, introduced a bill Jan. 26 that would require lobbyists in New Mexico “to report all their lobbying activity on all legislation they work on or advocate for or against,” Steinborn said in a news release.
“Senate Bill 218 would, for the first time, reveal the full range of companies and interest groups involved in trying to shape or stop legislation,” Steinborn said.
“One of the great mysteries in the legislative process is trying to figure out who is behind each piece of legislation and their motivation,” he said. “Not having this information hinders our ability to properly assess legislation and its impacts. With this full disclosure these interests would come into clear focus to help citizens, legislators, and the governor understand who would benefit or be impacted in advance of a bill being voted on or passed into law.”
“Transparency is the bedrock of good government, and this legislation would create a level playing field by bringing all factors involved in the legislative process into the light,” said state Sen. Mark Moores, an Albuquerque Republican who is co-sponsoring SB218 with Steinborn. “It’s time New Mexico modernize its lobbying disclosure as other states have done, and pass this bill into law.”
Steinborn also drew bi-partisan support for SB2017, which would require lobbyists “to report their compensation from the companies or interest groups who hired them, and fully disclose the full amount of money spent to influence laws and policy,” Steinborn said in the news release. His co-sponsor on that bill is state Sen. Greg Schmedes, R-Bernalillo, Sandoval, Santa Fe, Torrance.
“With the role of money in politics, it’s more important than ever that New Mexicans are able to see how much money corporations or organizations are spending to influence policy,” Steinborn said. “Current law shields lobbyists’ employers from having to report the huge amounts of money being spent to influence the legislative process.”
“Dark money has no place in the people’s work here in the Roundhouse. This bill ensures transparency in the legislative process,” Schmedes said.
Both bills have been referred to the Senate Rules Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee. Judiciary is chaired by Democratic state Sen. Joseph Cervantes, a Las Cruces attorney.
To track the bills, visit nmlegis.gov and click on either “Legislation” to track the bills by number, or “Legislators,” “Senate” and “Jeff Steinborn,” which lists SB217 and SB218 among the bills sponsored during the 2023 session by Steinborn.