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NM House Republican pushes for state ethics commission

SANTA FE, N.M. — House Rep. Jim Dines is proposing a measure that would give New Mexico voters the option during the next election to create an independent ethics commission.

He says the goal would be to crack down on unscrupulous public officials and employees of the legislative and executive branches of government.

New Mexico is one of just several states without an ethics commission. Calls for creating such a panel were reignited last year after former Secretary of State Dianna Duran was prosecuted for misusing campaign donations to fuel her gambling addiction.

Dines’ proposal calls for amending the New Mexico Constitution, which would require the approval of voters.

Some House Democrats are pushing for legislation to create the panel. But under Dines’ proposal, he says the panel’s hearings and findings would be public.