Richardson Proposes Ethics Bills

New Mexico – Gov. Bill Richardson wants the 2010 Legislature to pass an ethics reform package that includes an independent ethics commission.

Lawmakers convene Jan. 19 for a 30-day session.

Richardson proposes an ethics commission that would provide independent oversight of the executive and legislative branches and state employees. The commission would investigate complaints by citizens and whistleblowers and would be able to investigate and discipline public officials, state employees, lobbyists, contractors and officials.

Richardson also wants lawmakers to ban campaign contributions from corporations, state contractors and lobbyists and prohibit candidates from using taxpayer money or state resources for public service announcements except in emergencies in which the announcement is directly related to a candidate's official function.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.