Governor Susana Martinez announced her support today for legislation that will increase government transparency by requiring all final public-meeting agendas to be available 72 hours in advance and posted online, along with all related documents. The bill, which will be sponsored by Rep. Jim Smith (R-Sandia Park), is also backed by the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government.
"In the spirit of open government, this is a simple yet important step toward increasing transparency that should receive wide bipartisan support," said Governor Martinez. "Legislation requiring public meeting agendas to be posted online three days in advance will set a uniform standard across government and allow more access for all interested New Mexicans. I'm pleased to work with NMFOG and Rep. Smith on this measure and I hope to see it passed into law during next month's legislative session."
Currently, New Mexico law requires agendas to be posted within 24 hours of a public meeting, which can make it difficult for those interested in the public body's work to know the items that the committee will be discussing and make the decision on whether to travel to the meeting and participate.
"Democracy can't work unless citizens are informed about what their policy makers are doing," said Sarah Welsh, Executive Director of the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government. "That is what this bill is all about; it gives New Mexicans a much better opportunity to inform themselves and to participate in government."
"This is an opportunity to increase and standardize transparency across state and local governments," said Rep. Smith. "Given the technology available, it only makes sense to make these materials available so New Mexicans can see well in advance the business that their elected and appointed officials are addressing."