Effort to establish legislator salaries committee passes first senate committee

New Mexico has the only non-salaried legislature in the U.S. A piece of legislation seeks to change that. HJR 8 would allow New Mexico voters to determine if they want to amend the state constitution to allow legislators to earn a salary set by a citizens’ commission. It passed as amended on a 5-4 party-line […]

Effort to establish legislator salaries committee passes first senate committee

New Mexico has the only non-salaried legislature in the U.S. A piece of legislation seeks to change that.

HJR 8 would allow New Mexico voters to determine if they want to amend the state constitution to allow legislators to earn a salary set by a citizens’ commission. It passed as amended on a 5-4 party-line vote in the Senate Rules Committee Friday.

Proponents of the legislation said that making the legislature salaried could help diversify the institution because adding a salary could open up the option to run for state office to those who otherwise would not be financially comfortable doing so.

“I think the public perception is that when we’re away from Santa Fe, after the 30 or 60 day-session, that our job stops,” committee vice chairman Leo Jaramillo, D-Española, said. “They don’t understand the amount of calls that we take, people who reach out to us, people who need us to represent them as their senators or their representatives.”

The nine-person citizens’ committee would be set by “enabling legislation” if voters approve of it..

The committee amended the legislation to cut out that the commission would all be “public who broadly reflect the political, cultural and geographic diversity of the state” due to it being enabling language, SRC Chairwoman Sen. Katy Duhigg, D-Albuquerque, who proposed the amendment said. 

If the bill passes and a legislative salary is established by the committee, per diem would remain in place and legislative retirement would be reexamined through the Public Employees Retirement Association. 

More: Legislation to give legislators a salary passes House

The per diem rate is $165 per day in January and February and $194 per day in March that went up to $202 per day for FY23 which began July 1, 2022, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The legislation now goes to the Senate Finance Committee and then to the Senate floor. If it passes the Senate, it would need to head back to the House for concurrence because of the amendment.

We're ad free

That means that we rely on support from readers like you. Help us keep reporting on the most important New Mexico Stories by donating today.

Related

Effort to challenge six laws enacted last year comes to an end

Effort to challenge six laws enacted last year comes to an end

Earlier this month, the New Mexico Supreme Court denied and dismissed the effort to challenge six laws enacted in 2023. The New Mexico Supreme…
Governor to call special session for public safety legislation this summer

Governor to call special session for public safety legislation this summer

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced that she will call the Legislature into a special session this summer to address public safety legislation that did…
Emily’s List endorses seven candidates for Legislature

Emily’s List endorses seven candidates for Legislature

Emily’s List, a nonprofit that supports women candidates and reproductive rights, endorsed seven incumbents facing general election opponents in New Mexico legislative elections. All…
Ozone pollution continues to plague New Mexico

Ozone pollution continues to plague New Mexico

Four of the nine New Mexico counties evaluated in the annual State of the Air report received failing marks for ozone pollution. The counties…
NM receives $156M to boost access to solar

NM receives $156M to boost access to solar

New Mexico will receive millions in federal money to increase access to solar power. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced recipients of the $7…
Two PFAS chemicals designated hazardous substances under Superfund law

Two PFAS chemicals designated hazardous substances under Superfund law

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a final rule Friday to designate two types of PFAS chemicals as hazardous substances. Those two chemicals are perfluorooctanoic…
Amid new graduation requirements, what do high schoolers want to learn?

Amid new graduation requirements, what do high schoolers want to learn?

By Margaret O’Hara, The Santa Fe New Mexican The main things that bring Brayan Chavez to school every day: Seeing, talking to and engaging with…
Special ed teachers hope lawmakers OK pay raises, admin changes

Special ed teachers hope lawmakers OK pay raises, admin changes

By Margaret O’Hara, The Santa Fe New Mexican Brittany Behenna Griffith has a laundry list of adjectives to describe the ideal special education teacher:…
Lawmakers must find consensus on competing education spending plans

Lawmakers must find consensus on competing education spending plans

By Margaret O’Hara, The Santa Fe New Mexican A challenging task awaits New Mexico lawmakers in the next 30 days: Reconciling three very different…
Health workers fear it’s profits before protection as CDC revisits airborne transmission

Health workers fear it’s profits before protection as CDC revisits airborne transmission

Amy Maxmen, KFF Health News Four years after hospitals in New York City overflowed with covid-19 patients, emergency physician Sonya Stokes remains shaken by…
Lujan Grisham, Biden admin announce $10 million in federal funds for tribes, pueblos

Lujan Grisham, Biden admin announce $10 million in federal funds for tribes, pueblos

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced Friday $10 million in funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act was awarded to six tribal nations and…
Proposal to curb executive powers moves to House Judiciary

Proposal to curb executive powers moves to House Judiciary

The House Government, Elections and Indian Affairs Committee discussed a potential constitutional amendment that seeks to limit the governor’s executive powers. The committee approved…
Latest SCOTUS abortion case uncertain and could impact New Mexico

Latest SCOTUS abortion case uncertain and could impact New Mexico

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Wednesday on an abortion-related case, this time over whether an Idaho anti-abortion law preempts a federal…
Abortion fund provider rebrands and holds open house

Abortion fund provider rebrands and holds open house

An abortion fund provider unveiled a rebrand and offered an open house in Las Cruces to celebrate the organization’s new name, mission and values. …
Stansbury introduces judicial ethics bill on U.S. Supreme Court steps

Stansbury introduces judicial ethics bill on U.S. Supreme Court steps

U.S. Rep. Melanie Stansbury announced a bill on Thursday that would, if enacted, establish judicial ethics to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Judicial Ethics…
Latest SCOTUS abortion case uncertain and could impact New Mexico

Latest SCOTUS abortion case uncertain and could impact New Mexico

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Wednesday on an abortion-related case, this time over whether an Idaho anti-abortion law preempts a federal…
Abortion fund provider rebrands and holds open house

Abortion fund provider rebrands and holds open house

An abortion fund provider unveiled a rebrand and offered an open house in Las Cruces to celebrate the organization’s new name, mission and values. …
Politics and abortion, how much will it matter?

Politics and abortion, how much will it matter?

At the national level, abortion is still a high-stakes issue with both major presidential candidates talking about it in their campaigns, but it may…
Progressives going after incumbents in hot Democratic primaries

Progressives going after incumbents in hot Democratic primaries

By Justin Horwath, NM In Depth It’s a safe bet Democrats will barrel into 2025 with their supremacy intact at the New Mexico Legislature.…
Effort to challenge six laws enacted last year comes to an end

Effort to challenge six laws enacted last year comes to an end

Earlier this month, the New Mexico Supreme Court denied and dismissed the effort to challenge six laws enacted in 2023. The New Mexico Supreme…
Vasquez calls out Republicans for ‘inaction’ on border policy

Vasquez calls out Republicans for ‘inaction’ on border policy

U.S. Rep. Gabriel “Gabe” Vasquez, a Democrat who represents the state’s 2nd Congressional District along the U.S.-Mexico border, cosponsored a resolution on Monday calling…
Latest SCOTUS abortion case uncertain and could impact New Mexico

Latest SCOTUS abortion case uncertain and could impact New Mexico

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Wednesday on an abortion-related case, this time over whether an Idaho anti-abortion law preempts a federal…
Ozone pollution continues to plague New Mexico

Ozone pollution continues to plague New Mexico

Four of the nine New Mexico counties evaluated in the annual State of the Air report received failing marks for ozone pollution. The counties…
Progressives going after incumbents in hot Democratic primaries

Progressives going after incumbents in hot Democratic primaries

By Justin Horwath, NM In Depth It’s a safe bet Democrats will barrel into 2025 with their supremacy intact at the New Mexico Legislature.…

GET INVOLVED

© 2023 New Mexico Political Report