Senate approves pay raises for elected state officials

New Mexico’s governor and other statewide elected officials would get 15 percent raises starting in 2023, under a bill approved Thursday by the state Senate. The proposal, Senate Bill 547, next goes to the House of Representatives for consideration. The state’s five public regulation commissioners, who are elected from districts, also would receive 15 percent increases. Salaries for the governor and other statewide elected officials were last increased in 2002. Sens.

Spaceport secrecy bill headed to Senate floor

A state Senate committee voted Friday for a bill allowing New Mexico’s taxpayer-funded Spaceport to shield from public view the identity of its customers and other records. The Judiciary Committee voted 7-0 to advance the measure that Spaceport America says is crucial for it to attract private companies. Dan Hicks, executive director of the Spaceport, said companies interested in locating at the $209 million enterprise in Sierra County want to keep private the intellectual property they would bring with them. Republican Sen. Bill Burt of Alamogordo, one of the bill’s sponsors, said the measure is important to New Mexico taxpayers. Landing companies that can help make the Spaceport successful is crucial if the public is to recoup its investment in the project, Burt said.

House sends $6.2 billion budget to governor’s desk

The Legislature sent a final $6.2 billion budget to the governor’s desk with less than 24 hours left in the legislative session. The budget is the main reason for the Legislature to meet each year and is really the only “must-pass” piece of legislation. The House voted 57-10 to concur with changes made by the Senate that cut large amounts from the budget. The governor will now get the budget and will be able to sign or veto, including line-item vetoes. The cuts came in large part because of plummeting oil and natural gas prices.