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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

N.M. opens final bill negotiations process

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson signed a bill into law that requires the recognition of e-mailed or faxed records requests and opens the final bill negotiations process, The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press reported. However, a two-thirds vote in the House and Senate can still close these sessions.
Public records requests in New Mexico can now be made over e-mail or by fax, and state lawmakers will open their final bill negotiations process, in two pro-transparency changes Gov. Bill Richardson signed into law last week.

According to the Associated Press and the First Amendment Center, the public records bill follows a 2007 state attorney general's advisory opinion saying records requests need not be made on paper. The New Mexico State University had reportedly refused to accept an e-mailed request.

Regarding the legislative negotiations, according to the news report, lawmakers decided to open the conference committees that hash out the final drafts of bills when the House and Senate versions do not exactly match. A two-thirds majority vote in both chambers can still close the meetings.
More here.

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