Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

View Point: Sunshine bill would shed light on where taxes go


February 17, 2015

While we’re always ready to see more sunshine from our state government, we’re doubly glad when we can cast new light on deals that mysteriously take money out of our state, especially the money we contribute as taxpayers.

A bi-partisan bill proposed to the New Mexico Legislature would require copies of each state contract, including amendments, or links to these documents, to be posted on the state’s Sunshine Portal at http://www.sunshineportalnm.com.

The bill would also require posting of the dollar amounts of the contracts and their purposes.

People have a right to know where their money goes after they send it to the tax collector.

The state’s Association of Commerce and Industry told The Santa Fe New Mexican it supports this bill largely due to its concerns that in-state businesses aren’t getting fair opportunities to compete for state contracts.

In fact, the ACI said, “It is extremely difficult or impossible to access information on factors used in awarding state contracts, or even the percentage of state dollars spent with New Mexico businesses versus out-of-state companies.”

We agree that’s wrong.

We can debate whether it makes sense to send our tax dollars out of state, but taxpayers have a right to know when and why that’s happening.

We’re also glad this bill seems to be supported on both sides of the aisle and we give kudos to the sponsors, Sen. Sander Rue, R-Albuquerque, and Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard, D-Los Alamos.

Garcia Richard told The New Mexican, “I’m working across the aisle with Sen. Rue on this proposal because we can all agree that more accountability is good for everyone. The government has a responsibility to the people to let them see clearly how that money is spent, and why.”

Rue said, “This bill is as common-sense as it gets.”



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