State property sales laws may get tighter
SANTA FE – New Mexico lawmakers weighed several proposals this year that would have changed how large state government property sales are handled, largely because of concerns about the handling of a 2014 building deal that led to a senator’s resignation.
Although none of the measures was approved by the Legislature during this year’s 60-day session, backers say they intend to try again next year.
“If we’re going to have to put our names on (state building transactions), I think we would like to have a stronger hand,” said Senate President Pro Tem Mary Kay Papen, D-Las Cruces, who sponsored one of this year’s proposals.
Under Papen’s measure, an interim panel made up of top-ranking legislators and state officials – the Capitol Buildings Planning Commission – would have been given a more prominent role. Specifically, the commission would have been given authority to examine any large property sales before they go before the full Legislature.
“We’re not trying to be control freaks,” Papen told the Journal recently. “But if we’re going to have a say, then we should really have a say.”
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