SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – State lawmakers are once again weighing a pathway to get paid. On Monday, the courts, corrections, and justice committee talked about a joint resolution that would let voters decide if the state ethics commission could set a salary for state lawmakers.
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Under the legislation, the commission would set and review salaries every two years. This would replace the per diem lawmakers currently collect. State Representative Moe Maestas says lawmakers wouldn’t be able to get rich.
He says they would likely be paid a median income, allowing them to not work a full-time job year-round. “We would have more time to devote to constituent services, oversight of state government, crafting legislation throughout the interim, and these crazy 60 and 30-day sessions wouldn’t be so crazy,” says Maestas.
He says this could also cut down on conflicts of interest. “If we have some type of salary, that justifies putting in restrictions on how we can participate in business and investments,” Maestas adds.
A very similar resolution was introduced last session but failed to make it out of committee.