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Open government group says a House appropriations committee locked out public from a meeting on the state budget

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SANTA FE, New Mexico — The New Mexico Foundation for Open Government says a House appropriations committee locked out the public from a meeting on the state budget.

Foundation Executive Director Susan Boe wrote to the House speaker and Senate president Friday to urge that all legislative committee meetings be held in public.

Boe says the House Appropriations and Finance Committee locked the doors to its committee room and barred the public while discussing a state budget bill on Monday. The committee presented a detailed $6.3 billion budget plan in public the next day.

Committee staff acknowledged the closed meeting, while members could not be reached.

Boe says New Mexico law dictates that legislative meetings held for the purpose of discussing public business must be open to the public, but wants further clarification from lawmakers.

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