KUNM

Governor Urges Government Reform

Jan 19, 2016

Gov. Susana Martinez opened a 30-day session of the state legislature Tuesday with a speech urging lawmakers to make public safety their top priority. But that wasn’t the only item on her agenda.

After a year marked by high-profile public corruption cases, the two-term Republican used part of her state of the state address to encourage government reform.

Martinez specifically mentioned improving campaign finance reporting, closing the revolving door between lawmakers and lobbyists—and requiring the full disclosure of how legislators spend capital outlay money, something that’s now criticized as secret pork.

But House Democratic Leader Brian Egolf says he was disappointed that the governor didn’t mention ethics. He says the state desperately needs an independent ethics commission.

“She missed the elephant in the room," Egolf said. "It’s impossible, at this point, for citizens to make complaints or to have investigations of alleged wrongdoing by public officials, and the governor is completely AWOL on the issue."

Martinez has indicated she’ll green-light bills related to ethics, but so far she hasn’t publicly endorsed any specific proposals.

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