- Associated Press - Thursday, March 16, 2017

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - The Latest on efforts to create an independent political ethics committee in New Mexico (all times local):

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7:50 p.m.

A proposal to create an independent political ethics commission in New Mexico is being sent to a conference committee to resolve disagreements between the state House and Senate.

The House on Thursday refused to endorse Senate revisions to a constitutional amendment that would establish an ethics commission in the wake of a recent string of corruption scandals.

The commission would enforce standards of conduct for state officers, employees, lobbyists and contractors, along with campaign finance restrictions and reporting requirements for political candidates. Approval by the Legislature would send the measure to a statewide vote in 2018.

Republican Rep. Jim Dines of Albuquerque urged his House colleagues to hold off on endorsing the amendment as approved by the Senate because it left out details on how the commission would be appointed and transparency provisions for making ethics complaints public.

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2:00 p.m.

New Mexico voters could be asked next year to create an independent political ethics commission in the wake of a recent string of corruption scandals.

The state Senate voted 30-9 Thursday in favor of a proposed constitutional amendment that calls for creating a seven-member body to investigate and sanction ethics violations. The House must sign off on Senate revisions before the amendment goes to a statewide ballot initiative in November 2018.

The commission would enforce standards of conduct for state officers, employees, lobbyists and contractors, along with campaign finance restrictions and reporting requirements for political candidates.

New Mexico has been shaken over the years by numerous corruption scandals, with the most recent cases prompting resignations by the secretary of state, a longstanding state senator and a former Cabinet secretary.

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