NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – A bill in the Roundhouse is proposing around a $50,000 pay bump for high-ranking state officials. Senate Bill 442 would only benefit officials whose terms start on or after Jan. 1, 2027. “The people who are in these positions deserve to be compensated at something that gets close to what they might be able to do in the real world,” one lawmaker said.
The bill only bumps the salaries of the governor, the secretary of state, the state auditor, the state treasurer, the attorney general, and the commissioner of public lands. Currently, these pay raises can only come from the legislature. Elected officials do not get the same annual increase provided to state employees.
The new salaries range from more than $140,000 per year up to just under $170,000 per year for the governor. The salaries would come out of the general fund under this proposal.
Discussion on Friday, Feb. 24 in the Roundhouse was heated. Some lawmakers expressed that those leading the state aren’t making enough money. “I think it’s low too. All these numbers are disrespectful. Can I say that again? Disrespectful. We’ve literally got enough brainpower in this room to fix it,” one lawmaker said.
The Senate Health and Public Affairs Committee passed the bill; it will now head to the Senate Finance Committee. If signed into law, this would be the first wage increase for these high-ranking officials since 2002. According to a ranking released in 2021, New Mexico is in the bottom percentile for paying elected State House and Senate Representatives.