Roadrunner Capitol Reports
Legislation Detail


Rep Kathleen M Cates

Actions: HPREF [1] not prntd-HRC [2] w/drn-prntd-ref- HGEIC/HJC-HGEIC [3] DP-HJC [5] DNP-CS/DP [6] PASSED/H (66-0)- SJC/SFC-SJC

Scheduled: Not Scheduled

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 House Bill 8 (HB 8) - Outlines amendments to the Governmental Conduct Act in the state of New Mexico.  
Legislation Overview:
 House Bill 8 (HB 8) – Section 1 - Definitions: Clarifies terms like "business," "confidential information," "contract," "employment," "family," "financial interest," "local government agency," "official act," "political activity," "public officer or employee," "standards," "state agency," and "substantial interest."
Section 2 - Purpose and Declaration of Public Policy: 
•	Declares that government positions are a public trust.
•	Emphasizes that state and local public office powers and resources should be used for the public interest, not for personal benefits or private interests.
Section 3 - Prohibited Political Activities:
•	Prohibits coercion of public officers or employees for political contributions.  
•	Forbids threats related to promotions or pay increases based on political actions.  
•	Restricts political activities while on duty, in certain locations, and using government-owned vehicles or uniforms.
Section 4 - Abuse of Office and Quid Pro Quo Corruption:  
•	Legislators or public officers/employees cannot use their position for personal financial gain. 
•	Prohibits acquiring financial interests that may be affected by official acts.  
•	Forbids using state property for unauthorized purposes.  
•	Criminalizes soliciting or receiving money or valuables conditioned on promised official acts.
Section 5 - Disqualification from Official Acts:  
•	Public officers or employees are disqualified from official acts directly affecting their financial interest.  
•	Exception if the financial benefit to the officer/employee is proportionately less than the benefit to the general public.  
Section 6 - Contracts involving Former Public Officers or Employees:  
•	Restricts state agencies from entering contracts with persons represented by former officers or employees.  
•	Former officers or employees cannot represent individuals in matters they were involved in while in office.  
•	Local government agencies face similar restrictions.
Section 7 - Enforcement and Civil Penalties:  
•	The state ethics commission can refer violations to the attorney general or district attorney.
•	Civil actions may be taken to prevent or address violations, with potential civil penalties not exceeding $10,000.
Committee Substitute:
 Committee Substitute January 30, 2024, in HJC

HJCcs/HB 8:  This amendment to the Governmental Conduct Act in the State of New Mexico introduces several changes:
•	Definitions: Clarifies and updates definitions related to business, confidential information, contracts, employment, family, financial interest, local government agency, official act, political activity, public officer or employee, standards, state agency, and substantial interest.

•	Prohibited Political Activities: Specifies that public officers or employees are prohibited from coercing others to contribute to political entities, threatening employees based on voting behavior, and engaging in political activities in certain circumstances.

•	Abuse of Office - Prohibiting Quid Pro Quo Corruption - Penalty: 
•	Outlines prohibitions for legislators or public officers/employees using their office for personal financial gain. It specifies restrictions on acquiring financial interests and prohibits the use of state property or power for unauthorized purposes. 
•	A penalty is established for soliciting or receiving money or valuables in exchange for promised official acts.

•	Disqualification from Official Act: Public officers or employees are disqualified from engaging in official acts that directly affect their financial interests. 
•	Exceptions are provided if the benefit to the officer or employee is proportionately less than the benefit to the general public.

Contracts Involving Former Public Officers or Employees - Civil Penalties: 
•	Establishes restrictions on state agencies entering contracts with businesses represented by former public officers or employees. It also prohibits former public officers or employees from representing individuals in matters they were involved in while in office. Civil penalties are outlined for violations.

Enforcement - Civil Penalties: 
•	Empowers the state ethics commission to refer potential violations to the attorney general or district attorney for enforcement. Civil actions may be initiated to prevent or address violations, including the imposition of civil penalties.

•	Repeals a specific section (Section 10-16-3) from the Governmental Conduct Act enacted in 1993.

The amendment proposes to clarify definitions, strengthen regulations against political coercion and abuse of office, and establish penalties for violations, with a focus on preventing conflicts of interest and ensuring ethical conduct among public officials and employees.