New Mexico Secretary of State issues statements on passage of State election bills

(Photo: maggietoulouseoliver.com)

Passage of State Senate Bills 4 and 3 great steps toward a better and better-funded public financing system for New Mexico elections and more transparent and accountable campaign finance system, says Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver

News Release (s)

Office of New Mexico Secretary of State

Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver responds to unanimous House passage of bill to expand public financing of New Mexico elections

The New Mexico House of Representatives unanimously passed an important update to the state’s public financing system that will expand public financing of certain races in New Mexico elections. Senate Bill 4 passed the Senate 34-1 earlier this session and passed the House floor tonight 59-0. It will now go back to the Senate for concurrence after amendments were added in the House.

“People from all backgrounds and walks of life should have the ability to run for public office, not just the wealthy and well-connected,” said Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver. “Tonight’s passage of Senate Bill 4 by the New Mexico House of Representatives is a great step toward a better and better-funded public financing system for elections which will give more ordinary New Mexicans the ability to serve their communities.”

Senate Bill 4 is sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth and has been a priority for Secretary Toulouse Oliver in this legislative session. The bill makes changes to the state’s Voter Action Act, which provides for public financing for statewide judicial candidates and candidates for the public regulation commission.

Senate Bill 4 is very similar to Sen. Wirth’s Senate Bill 97 from 2017 that passed the Senate 37-0, passed the House 51-15, but was vetoed by then-Governor Susana Martinez.

State campaign finance laws strengthened by bi-partisan passage of Senate Bill 3 in New Mexico House of Representatives

The New Mexico House of Representatives moved the state one step closer to a more transparent and accountable campaign finance system with their passage of Senate Bill 3 on a 48-17 vote. The bill passed the Senate 36-6 earlier in the 2019 Legislative Session and now must go to a conference committee in order to reconcile the bill after amendments were added in the House.

“This bill will give the public a better understanding of who is trying to influence our elections by providing more transparency and accountability in campaign finance reporting,” said Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver.

Senate Bill 3 revises the Campaign Reporting Act (CRA) to provide clear guidance to individuals and entities who report campaign finance expenditures to the Secretary of State’s Office, in addition to fixing an unconstitutional provision in the CRA and defining terms like “independent expenditures.” Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth has sponsored similar versions of this bill in previous legislative sessions, most recently in 2017 when his Senate Bill 96 passed the Senate and the House of Representatives but was vetoed by then-Governor Susana Martinez.

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