No, you can’t have more information about lobbyists, committee decides

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The Senate chambers at the Roundhouse in Santa Fe.

Heath Haussamen / NMPolitics.net

The Senate chambers at the Roundhouse in Santa Fe.

Look up a bill on the Iowa Legislature’s website, and you might notice a nifty link alongside the text of the bill.

Click “Lobbyist Declarations,” and you will get a list of which lobbyists have been talking to lawmakers about that bill.

Turns out that legislators in New Mexico are not keen on taking a step in that direction.

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The Senate Rules Committee voted 6-2 Wednesday to block a bill that would have required lobbyists to report which pieces of legislation they are advocating for or against.

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Jeff Steinborn, D-Las Cruces, said the public would have benefited from the measure. “It would help show all the forces at work behind a piece of legislation,” he said.

But members of the committee from both parties said more information may not necessarily give the public a better understanding of the Legislature. They argued that policymaking can be complicated. A bill’s supporters might turn against it on a dime over a late amendment that changes its very meaning, for example.

“There’s no nuance to it,” Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino, D-Albuquerque, said of the bill.

This article comes from The Santa Fe New Mexican. NMPolitics.net is paying for the rights to publish articles about the 2018 legislative session from the newspaper. Help us cover the cost by making a donation to NMPolitics.net.

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