Commentary: Don’t poison the Sunshine Portal

From NM - by Heath Haussamen - The New Mexico Sunshine Portal should be a venue for making already-public information more accessible. Nothing more, nothing less. That narrow mission is what led at its genesis to bipartisan support, and keeping the mission narrowly focused is necessary for the Sunshine Portal to survive in these hyper-partisan times. All the amendments to the Sunshine Portal being discussed in this session don’t address that issue. If there’s one fix lawmakers and the governor need to implement, clarifying that narrow mission is it. Currently, the Legislature can decide to add information to the portal. So can the governor, because the law that created the portal allows it. So Gov. Susana Martinez added all employees’ names to the Sunshine Portal earlier this year without first asking the Legislature. The problem? There are some legislators who don’t like having the names of “rank-and-file” employees’ names online for the public to easily find. House Majority Leader Ken Martinez said as much during a committee hearing the other day, calling it voyeurism and an attack on public employees to want to see the names. With that as the backdrop, the House Judiciary Committee on Monday killed a proposed amendment to the Sunshine Portal I’ve already opposed that would have required disclosure of the names, salaries and titles of all employees of businesses that contract with the state. Read more


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