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Senate wants monthly reporting of social spending

SANTA FE — Legislation aimed at shining a light on the governor’s contingency fund — an off-the-books account that pays for social events — won approval 38-0 in the Senate and now heads to the House.

Senate Bill 52, sponsored by Sen. Sander Rue, R-Albuquerque, calls for the fund to be subject to state rules on audits, procurement and the disclosure of public records.

The governor would be required to provide monthly reports on how the money is spent. The contingency fund typically pays for dinners and receptions at the Governor’s Mansion.

The bill would go into effect Jan. 1, at the beginning of the next governor’s term.
Rue said the contingency fund usually totals about $80,000 a year and that the transparency rules he’s proposing are reasonable.