Governor signs legislation creating independent ethics commission
SANTA FE — Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Thursday signed Senate Bill 668, establishing the New Mexico State Ethics Commission, an independent agency that will field and investigate alleged ethical violations committed by public officials, employees, candidates, contractors, lobbyists and more.
The Ethics Commission, the constitutional authorization of which was overwhelmingly approved by New Mexico voters last fall, will comprise seven members who may initiate complaints, issue advisory opinions and petition a court to furnish subpoenas so as to facilitate investigations, among other powers and duties.
“I’m optimistic this legislation will meet the expectations articulated by voters across the state,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said. “For a long time, New Mexico has been waiting for an ethics watchdog with teeth. This signing, therefore, marks an important first step — with many more to come in the process of establishing a genuine custodian of the public trust. My expectation is straightforward: Transparency and accountability, not as buzzwords but as the foundational keystones of a new era of governance. I believe we have the makings of that here.”
“We are here today because of all of the hard work that so many have done,” sponsor Sen. Mimi Stewart said. “I am grateful to the many legislators and advocates that stepped up to get this legislation across the finish line by creating an excellent compromise that gets New Mexico to a very good place.”