Wednesday, February 17, 2010

House Passes Two Ethics/Transparency Bills

Within a few minutes the House passed a couple of bills aimed at making government more open and less corrupt.

Most recent one first: They passed the Whistleblower Act, SB96 by a 61-1 margin. This would protect people who report official wrongdoing from retaliation.

This bill will be sent to the governor for his signature. Though Richardson vetoed a different whistleblower bill in 2007, this year, he put it on his call and asked for such a n act in his State of the State address.

This vote came after House approval, by a 65-1 vote of the Sunshine Portal Transparency Act, SB 195. This bill would create a Web site that would include a monthly list of the revenue received by the state -- broken down by source, such as taxes, fees or fines. The portal would include tools for tracking the status of capital-outlay projects and public meetings.

The House amended the bill to not include the names of classified state employees and their salaries. However the names and salaries of exempt employees would be part of the portal.

Because it was amended the bill has to go back to the Senate for concurrence before going to the governor.