SANTA FE – New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver has adopted the final version of a campaign finance rule intended to provide much needed guidance regarding New Mexico’s Campaign Reporting Act (CRA) and to bring the CRA into constitutional compliance following numerous court cases.
The rule will go into effect on Tuesday, October 10, 2017, which is the first day of a new campaign finance reporting period.
“For too long our campaign finance disclosure laws have been vague and confusing, and this rule will provide much needed guidance and clarity,” said Secretary of State Toulouse Oliver. “The rule will also help to shine a light on the dark money that has been plaguing our state’s campaigns.”
The rule contains some features of Senate Bill 96, which passed both chambers of the New Mexico state legislature with bipartisan support earlier in 2017 but was vetoed by Governor Susana Martinez.
Toulouse Oliver introduced a draft version of the rule on June 13, 2017, and held three public hearings on the rule – one apiece in Santa Fe, Albuquerque and Las Cruces – despite only being required by state law to host one hearing. Following the three public hearings and a review of official written comments, Toulouse Oliver released a revised version of the rule on July 25, 2017.
Toulouse Oliver held a fourth public hearing on the revised version on August 30, 2017 and reviewed additional official written comments.
“During this process I was encouraged to see that hundreds of New Mexicans are passionate about bringing clarity to our campaign finance requirements,” said Toulouse Oliver. “The feedback we received was invaluable in terms of strengthening this rule so it will work more effectively for all involved.”
The Secretary of State’s Office will soon release guides to help those covered under the Campaign Reporting Act comply with the new rule, and will develop an independent expenditures online reporting tool to make disclosures by non-committees accessible and convenient.
In addition, the Secretary of State’s Office will host training sessions to help candidates, committees, and independent expenditures understand the new rule and relevant statutes.