New Mexico law meant to increase transparency leaves gray area for lobbyists

Lobbyists could end up reporting far less of their spending on lawmakers under a bill lauded for improving the state’s campaign finance system.

House Bill 105, signed into law by Gov. Susana Martinez on Monday, aims to make it easier for the public to access information about campaign contributions and lobbyists’ reporting. But the bill also ends a requirement that lobbyists report cumulative spending on lawmakers, and it increases the limit for reporting to $100 from $75 per event. The original legislation struck the cumulative total requirement.

The House Government, Elections & Indian Affairs Committee increased the reporting limit, a change that made it through two more committees as well as the full House of Representatives and Senate.

That essentially means lobbyists could buy a lawmaker a $99 dinner multiple times, but never report it. Continue…