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Proposal for settlement transparency advances to Senate

The Roundhouse. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

SANTA FE — Bipartisan legislation that would make state settlements public immediately — rather than after a six-month wait — is headed to the Senate floor.

The proposal, Senate Bill 64, cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee late Wednesday.

General Services Secretary Ken Ortiz said the proposal would boost transparency and simplify the law on settlement disclosure.

It would, for example, eliminate a provision in state law that now requires a six-month confidentiality period before a settlement is released. Supporters say the bill also addresses loopholes that could be used to hide a settlement agreement even longer.

Sen. Sander Rue, R-Albuquerque, said it’s in the public’s interest to reveal the spending of taxpayer money without delay.

The bill is sponsored by Rue and Democratic Reps. Linda Trujillo of Santa Fe and Christine Chandler of Los Alamos. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham approved the bill for consideration this session.

 

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