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Making the End Run When Legislation Fails

A pet peeve of mine regarding Governor Richardson’s administration is their commitment to circumventing the checks and balances intentionally built into our system of government. And, it appears they’re at it again.

In 2004, amidst much uproar, the “Electronic Government Act” was being pushed:

A bill that calls for organizing government records through a system called “e-portal” was pending at the end of the 2004 legislative session. Backed by Gov. Bill Richardson, the “Electronic Government Act” would create a pricey e-portal system that would use the fees generated from government records to manage and fund the system. In order to obtain government records, members of the public would have to use e-portal and pay according to its tiered pricing system. (HB 291; SB 314)

It was that “pricey e-portal system” (read: pricey for you and me to access public information) that had folks like the New Mexico Press Association and New Mexico Foundation for Open Government up in arms. The bill was defeated.

But, now that they think everyone is distracted by the economic crisis plaguing the state, the Richardson administration is back up to their usual backdoor manuevers. Without much fanfare, the Taxation and Revenue Department has put out an 88-page RFP to do exactly what the legislature had previously rejected.

I hope someone in the legislature calls the administration to task before it’s too late.