Lawmakers move quickly on ethics, campaign finance bills

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – Efforts to reform New Mexico’s political ethics and campaign finance regulations are off to a fast start in the New Mexico Legislature amid recent high-profile corruption scandals and public pressure for change.

The open government advocacy group Common Cause New Mexico released polling results Monday that show broad support for the creation of an independent ethics commission in the state, a cooling off period before public officials can become lobbyists and greater campaign finance disclosures for independent political groups.

In the first weeks of a 60-day legislative session, committees have advanced bills addressing those issues. New Mexico is one of eight states without an independent ethics body.

Common Cause Campaign Manager Heather Ferguson says campaign finance excesses and mysteries of the 2016 election season highlight the need for greater disclosure.

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