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New Mexico voters to decide on need for ethics commission

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – It will be up to New Mexico voters to approve a constitutional amendment that would allow for the creation of an independent ethics commission.

The proposal is on the ballot this year, after many years of debate in the Legislature over establishing such a panel to address complaints involving state officials, legislative employees, lobbyists and government contractors.

New Mexico has had a string of public corruption scandals over the last 13 years, with two state treasurers, two state senators, a secretary of state and a deputy insurance superintendent going to prison on criminal charges.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the number of states with ethics commissions has steadily increased in recent years, leaving New Mexico as one of only six without a commission.

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