House Bill 604, which would ban political contributions from people who contract with state government cleared its first hurdle this morning, getting a 10-1 vote for do-pass from the House Voters and elections Committee.
The bill, sponsored by Reps. Brian Egolf, D-Santa Fe and Nate Gentry, R-Albuquerque now goes to the House Judiciary Committee.
A similar bill last year passed the House but collapsed and died in the weird labyrinth known as the New Mexico State Senate.
A news release from Think New Mexico says "The bill would bar registered lobbyists and major government contractors (those seeking or holding contracts worth $50,000 or more) from making political contributions to candidates for state public office. The bill would also increase transparency and accountability in election spending by requiring that anyone – including nonprofit organizations, unions, and corporations – that engages in political advocacy must report and disclose the sources of the funds used for that advocacy."
The question is even if the bill becomes law, would a court strike down the provision that require non-profits to report contributors? So far the one case in which the state tried to get non-profits to disclose was thwarted by federal courts.