Although capital outlay requests by individual lawmakers in the New Mexico State Legislature are published on the legislature’s official website, they do not show everything that may have taken place in the process.
Now a bill, presented by several members in the House, calls for all projects included in successful capital outlay legislation to show the amount of funding provided by the project sponsor, whether by a lawmaker or the governor, and the amount of funding that would have been provided for a vetoed project.
Sponsored by Representatives Natalie Figueroa, Joy Garratt and Matthew McQueen, the legislation was introduced in the House on January 17, with a companion bill presented in the Senate on January 20.
The fate of either piece of legislation in this, the early days of the 2019 session, is unknown.
But the Santa Fe-based Think New Mexico, a public policy group devoted to making government more cost-effective, has saluted the effort saying that it will bring “transparency to the state’s process for funding public infrastructure projects.”
In its website, Think New Mexico adds: “We believe that since projects are funded with public taxpayer dollars, the public should have the right to know how the legislators are choosing to spend them.”
If passed, the Legislative Council Service would be tasked with recording the additional capital outlay information onto the legislature’s existing database.
By Garry Boulard
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