State Legislature Getting a Raise
Senate Bill Three, authored by Senator Verity Gray of East Mountain High School, was passed. The bill, titled “Salaries for Diversity within Legislature”, discusses paying state senators in order to create a larger diversity of age. This bill calls attention to the fact that, despite making up 31% of New Mexico’s population, the millennial generation “makes up 0% of it’s legislature.”
The Baby Boomer generation holds the same percentage in the state population, but “make up 59% of the state legislature.” Currently, New Mexico is the only state that does not pay legislators a salary.
This bill would provide state senators with a salary of $20,000 per year on the basis that current compensation for state legislators is not enough for those who work full or part time jobs. Current compensation is $192 per diem during session, and 57.5 cents for every mile traveled to attend sessions. This compensation is used for expenses like food and housing.
The salary would be added onto the current provisions in order to shift from a volunteer-based state legislature into a hybrid model legislature.
Senate Bill 3 is expected to be signed into law Sunday by Governor Olivia Traub.