- Associated Press - Friday, February 5, 2016

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - New Mexico is moving closer than ever toward creating an independent ethics commission to keep watch over the conduct and campaign finances of public officials, lobbyists and state contractors.

The House of Representatives is scheduled to deliberate and possibly vote Friday on a constitutional amendment to create an independent ethics agency.

The new commission would have the power to subpoena witnesses and government records and issue civil citations and penalties under a long list of laws on campaign financing, lobbying and gift giving. Criminal matters would still be referred to prosecutors.

New Mexico is one of eight states that do not have an independent ethics commission or committee. A long list of ethics and campaign finance reforms are pending before the Legislature this year.

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