An overview of New Mexico’s 30 day legislative session

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Stock The ROUNDHOUSE - NM Legislature_85103

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – The New Mexico Legislature at a glance:

START TO FINISH:

The Legislature convenes at noon Tuesday. It’s formally called second session of the 52nd Legislature.

Lawmakers adjourn after 30 days at noon on Thursday, Feb. 18. The governor then has until March 9 to sign bills.

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THE MAKEUP:

The House has 70 members: 37 Republicans and 33 Democrats. The Senate has 42 members: 24 Democrats and 18 Republicans.

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PAY:

New Mexico has the nation’s only unsalaried legislature. Lawmakers receive $163 a day during the session to reimburse them for expenses. A constitutional amendment is being proposed this year that would provide lawmakers with a salary of nearly $45,000.

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THE AGENDA:

Under the state Constitution, the session is limited in even years to the budget, revenue and taxation measures as well as proposals placed on the agenda by the governor. Constitutional amendments also can be considered, and several already are proposed related to bail reform, campaign finance regulation, educational funding and legalizing recreational marijuana.

Approving a budget to finance public education, shore up Medicaid and fund general government programs is a must-do assignment for lawmakers. Additional proposals are up for debate to broaden the application of mandatory life sentences for habitual criminals, finance capital improvement projects, and boost spending on economic development.

There were 696 bills introduced during the last 30-day session in 2014. Of those bills, 91 were passed by the Legislature. The governor signed 81 measures into law and vetoed 10.

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POLITICS:

All seats in the House and Senate are up for election in November. Republicans will be vying for control of the Senate, while Democrats are looking to regain a majority in both chambers.

Republican Gov. Susana Martinez was re-elected in 2014 to a second term and cannot run again in 2018. She was appointed in November as chairwoman of the Republican Governors Association, a fundraising arm of the GOP.

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LEARNING MORE:

Contact lawmakers by calling the legislative switchboard: (505) 986-4300. Find bills, committee schedules, lists of members and a link for webcasts of House and Senate proceedings on the Legislature’s website: www.nmlegis.gov.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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