House Unanimously Passes Ethics Bill to Prevent Abuses of Power
Would update Governmental Conduct Act to make sexual quid pro quo an ethics violation
Santa Fe, N.M. – House Bill 5 passed the House tonight with a unanimous vote of 61-0. This bill updates the Governmental Conduct Act to make the exchange of sexual acts for official favors from government officials or legislators in a quid pro quo arrangement an ethics violation. It also increases the maximum penalty for an ethics violation from $5,000 to $10,000.
“We cannot tolerate sexual coercion or harassment from our elected leaders and public officials,” said lead sponsor Representative Kathleen Cates (D-Rio Rancho). “Every New Mexican should feel safe in interactions with our government and know that those who abuse their power will be held accountable.”
Other sponsors of HB 5 include Representatives:
- Eleanor Chávez (D-Albuquerque)
- Joanne Ferrary (D-Las Cruces)
- Natalie Figueroa (D-Albuquerque)
- Yanira Gurrola (D-Albuquerque)
- Pamelya Herndon (D-Albuquerque)
- Susan Herrera (D-Embudo)
- Tara Jaramillo (D-Socorro)
- D. Wonda Johnson (D-Church Rock)
- Raymundo Lara (D-Chamberino)
- Charlotte Little (D-Albuquerque)
- Patricia Lundstrom (D-Gallup)
- Marian Matthews (D-Albuquerque)
- Andrea Romero (D-Santa Fe)
- Debra Sariñana (D-Albuquerque)
- Elizabeth “Liz” Thomson (D-Albuquerque)
- Majority Whip Reena Szczepanski (D-Santa Fe)
HB 5 now heads to the Senate.
The Roundhouse is open to the public for the 2023 session. Members of the public can also view floor sessions and committee meetings on the New Mexico Legislature’s Webcasts tab, and provide comment via phone or Zoom as directed on the daily schedule.