Behind the Times

When it comes to suitable ethics laws, New Mexico is simply behind the times.

Consider this.

* New Mexico is one of five states with no limits on campaign contributions (Incidentally, Illinois is one of the other four!!). Congressional and presidential elections have contribution limits.

* New Mexico is one of nine states without an independent ethics commission.

* New Mexico is one of two states that offers absolutely no compensation to its legislators.

* New Mexico is one of nine states that does not require open conference committees in its legislature.

Santa Fe New Mexican reporter Steve Terrell sheds light on yet another shortcoming. Turns out New Mexico is one of six states that does not webcast, or broadcast by television its legislative floor sessions.

I wonder how this lack of suitable ethics laws is affecting progress in other policy areas like health care, land use, or energy.

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