Gov. Bill Richardson today signed the open conference committees bill approved by the Legislature.
"I have always maintained that this is a decision that should be made by the Legislature, without involvement by the executive branch," Richardson said in a statement. "Nevertheless, the Legislature chose this path and I have signed the bill out of respect for its desire to further open the committee process to the public. Despite the flaws in the bill, the public wins with an open process,” he said.
Rep. Joe Cervantes, D-Las Cruces, who sponsored the measure, applauded the governor. He said that in the future, people might puzzle over why it took the Legislature so long to approve the measure.
"I have no doubt that years from now it will hard to understand how this was ever an issue," he said in a statement. "But it has taken years of work to assemble the reformers, who now share a confidence that our policies, spending and conduct, must stand up to public debate and scrutiny. We can only expect wise judgment from the citizens if we first confidently entrust them with knowledge."