Senate Joint Resolution 7
to Amend the Anti-Donation Clause
New Mexico's anti-donation clause was included in the state constitution to protect state funds from fraud. It has become a barrier to projects involving state funds.
New Mexico's anti-donation clause gets in the way of rural development, particularly in the areas of broadband and water infrastructure. It complicates the capital outlay process. It is an impediment to providing disaster relief to individuals, businesses, and nonprofits. It also complicates government partnering with nonprofits to promote community well-being. The anti-donation clause forces counties and municipalities to be landlords and fiscal sponsors for nonprofits.
New Mexico Thrives is working with nonprofit leaders, legislators, members of the counties association, and state administrative staff directly involved with the capital outlay process and the anti-donation clause to propose a remedy. There are two phases to make the anti-donation clause more workable. The first phase is a constitutional amendment, which must pass both chambers of the legislature. After the bill is passed, the proposed amendment must be voted on by the public in a general election. The second phase is to pass enabling legislation.
Senate Joint Resolution 7 (SJR 7) is the proposed constitutional amendment to the anti-donation clause and creates three new exemptions:
to invest in infrastructure for essential services;
to be able to provide disaster relief;
to invest in community well-being through partnerships with 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations and 501(c)(12) cooperatives.
The working group has developed a framework and guidelines that will be introduced as the Vibrant Communities Act in New Mexico's 2023 legislative session.