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Friday, December 13, 2019

New Mexico seeks legislation to increase government transparency

State AG

By Marian Johns | Feb 19, 2019

General court 4

ALBUQUERQUE — New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas, along with the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government (NMFOG), has proposed new state legislation that would require organizations that have been formed specifically to give money or property to government agencies to abide by the Inspection of Public Records Act and Open Meetings Act. 

Two bills, HB 26 and HB 29, are designed to increase transparency in government and allow more access to the state's residents and media in their search of public information, Balderas said. 

“We want citizens to have access to critical public information, in order to build a state government that is fair and open to all New Mexico citizens,” Balderas said in a statement. “My office is committed to transparency and partnering with citizen watchdogs for public accountability across New Mexico.”

“The New Mexico Foundation for Open Government is in full support of the proposed legislation,” added NMFOG executive director Melanie Majors. “NMFOG continually works to protect and strengthen every New Mexican’s right to know. We support greater access to information. We work to protect and strengthen laws and policies. We believe that openness is the rule and the ability to inspect public records keeps officials accountable."

According to the Attorney General's Office, HB 26, sponsored by Rep. Bill Pratt, reduces and limits charges for public records while HB 29, sponsored by Rep. Abbas Akhil, requires organizations that" exist solely to provide funds for property to government agencies" to be open to more transparency by the Inspection of Public Records Act and Open Meetings Act.

 

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