The New Mexico Foundation for Open Government (FOG) sent a letter to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham Monday, March 2, 2020, asking her to veto House Bill 364, Public Sector Collective Bargaining Changes as FOG believes this bill would deny the citizens of New Mexico access to public information about how their taxpayer dollars are being spent.
“There are provisions in the bill that would exempt from public inspection such things as public employees’ hire dates, their salaries, their work locations and their work telephone number, “Melanie J. Majors, FOG executive director, said. “The public has a right to know who is working on their behalf, where the employee is working and their salary.”
Majors said FOG sees no justification for curtaining off from public view a public employee’s name and date of hire, work telephone numbers, work electronic mail address or employment information including job title, salary and work location.
FOG asks that the governor in making her decision, please consider that while the bill’s intent was to give the bargaining unit representative exclusive access to this information for labor law purposes, it’s an unacceptable limitation of IPRA rights.
The New Mexico Foundation for Open Government is dedicated to ensuring access to public information in New Mexico, which includes assisting both records requestors and public entities regarding compliance with the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act (“IPRA”) and assisting those who have concerns about compliance with the Open Meetings Act (OMA).
For 30 years, FOG has been advocating to protect and strengthen the laws and policies that guarantee the public’s right to know.