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New Mexico Telegram » Featured, Open Government » Attempt to exempt legislative emails from IPRA on fast track

Attempt to exempt legislative emails from IPRA on fast track

The Senate Rules Committee is ready to send an attempt to exempt the legislators from the Inspection of Public Records Act is on the fast track to the floor.

The Rules Committee has placed HCR 1 on the consent calendar. This means that the committee intends to pass it without any discussion — which usually means it is a noncontroversial piece of legislation that the committee will agree on unanimously.

There will likely not even be any public comment on the issue if it is on the consent calendar.

The concurrent resolution cleared the House on Sunday, just two days after it passed the House Rules and Order of Business Committee.

Now it is poised to get out of the Senate Rules Committee as early as tomorrow — giving it enough time to get to the Senate floor where it would need two-thirds of the votes to become a new rule in the Legislature.

If so, it could face legal scrutiny from the office of the Attorney General. Attorney General Gary King is of the opinion that emails from public officials and workers are subject to IPRA. The rule itself doesn’t change any law — and IPRA doesn’t have any specific exemptions for legislators.

“FOG is opposed to HCR1, which is contrary to the Legislature‚Äôs own statute,” said Gwyneth Doland, executive director of the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government, in a statement following the House vote. “The Legislature has consistently required transparency of the executive branch and should do no less for itself.”

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Matthew Reichbach has blogged about New Mexico politics since 2006. Matthew was a co-founder of New Mexico FBIHOP with his brother and part of the original hirings at the groundbreaking website the New Mexico Independent. Matthew has covered events such as the Democratic National Convention and Netroots Nation. In addition to politics, Matthew is an avid sports fan, especially of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and TV fan.

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