Governor Susana Martinez
New legislative session started on Monday (24 January 2012) in Santa Fe. The first item on the agenda is the budget. The lawmakers have a long list of bills to push through the parliament after the budget. Governor Susana Martinez talked about four bills on Sunday (22 January 2012), all targeting public corruption, with a view to restore trust in the state government.
Her first bill aims to increase penalties for public officials convicted for corruption. They would forfeit their pension and be banned from doing any business with the state. Another bill would require immediate removal of legislators convicted of corruption. The Governor pointed to Jerome Block, Jr. as an example. Former Public Regulation Commissioner Jerome Block Jr. pleaded guilty to serious crime and was still allowed to draw a pay check from the taxpayers for ten to fourteen days, said the Governor.
Another bill would prevent the state from paying for public officials’ legal fees in corruption cases. The fourth and final bill would prevent legislators from lobbying the state for two years after leaving public office.