Santa Fe Chamber: The Business Case for an Ethics Commission

At the Santa Fe Chamber, every day we work to build a stronger local economy that helps almost 1,000 member businesses that employ 8000+ New Mexicans thrive. New Mexico has moderate momentum behind our economic recovery, including low unemployment and growth in the local hospitality industry. But, our job growth is still lagging far behind our neighbors. This legislative year, to continue to get our economy back on track, the business community needs a commitment to transparency from our state legislature, starting with the establishment of an ethics commission. This commitment to transparency would transform the business environment and investment climate across our state, and help put our state on a path to greater prosperity for all New Mexicans.

Why is an ethics commission so important? First, it will help ensure a level and stable playing fields for all businesses. Nearly all business enterprises, from the largest corporations to the smallest start-ups, depend on a state government that is accessible to all. All business owners, whether they employ 10 people or 10,000, should be confident that when they come to New Mexico, they are getting a fair shake. An ethics commission helps achieve this, ensuring our state government is open and transparent.

Secondly, it sends a signal across the country that we have nothing to hide. While we have made a lot of progress in recent years to clean up our state government, the absence of an ethics commission introduces unnecessary risk for businesses. When leaders of a corporation are looking to expand, they look to states where there is stability and they can be sure the business climate will stay welcoming. When an entrepreneur is looking for a place to open a business, he or she looks at states where the business environment will allow for their business to flourish for decades to come. Without an ethics commission, there isn’t clear, established ground rules as law that everybody must follow. Establishing an ethics commission, however, would help entrepreneurs and business leaders to be confident about the future business climate in our state.

It is time the state legislature help New Mexico take a step forward in our state’s economic by making a commitment to transparency. Establishing an ethics commission will send a strong message to businesses across our country that they are welcome in New Mexico.

Simon Brackley
President and CEO
Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce

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