Campaign finance ‘loophole’ targeted
SANTA FE — New Mexico lawmakers who run for federal office during a legislative session would have to report every 10 days who’s contributing to their campaign under legislation moving forward in the Senate.
The proposal, Senate Bill 359, is intended to close a “loophole” in state law.
Lawmakers and the governor can’t solicit campaign contributions for state office during a prohibited period each year, including the legislative session, a prohibition intended to discourage state officials from taking donations as they’re acting on legislation.
Imposing a similar ban for federal office, however, might interfere with federal law.
Sen. Jacob Candelaria, an Albuquerque Democrat and sponsor of the bill, said his legislation would uphold the public’s right to know who’s contributing during a session to campaigns launched by legislators or the governor.
The bill comes as four legislators are campaigning to succeed U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland in the 1st Congressional District, a position she would vacate if confirmed as interior secretary in President Joe Biden’s administration.
The proposal passed the Senate Rules Committee 10-0 and now heads to the Judiciary Committee.