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Article XX, New Mexico Constitution

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New Mexico Constitution
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Article XX of the New Mexico Constitution is entitled Miscellaneous and consists of 22 sections.

Section 1

Text of Section 1:

Oath of Officer

Every person elected or appointed to any office shall, before entering upon his duties, take and subscribe to an oath or affirmation that he will support the constitution of the United States and the constitution and laws of this state, and that he will faithfully and impartially discharge the duties of his office to the best of his ability.[1]

Section 2

Text of Section 2:

Tenure of Office

Every officer, unless removed, shall hold his office until his successor has duly qualified.[1]

Section 3

Text of Section 3:

Date Terms of Office Begin

The term of office of every state, county or district officer, except those elected at the first election held under this constitution, and those elected to fill vacancies, shall commence on the first day of January next after his election.[1]

Section 4

Text of Section 4:

Vacancies in Offices of District Attorney or County Commissioner

If a vacancy occurs in the office of district attorney or county commissioner, the governor shall fill such vacancy by appointment, and such appointee shall hold such office until the next general election. His successor shall be chosen at such election and shall hold his office until the expiration of the original term.[1]


  • Amended on November 8, 1988.

Section 5

Text of Section 5:

Interim Appointments

If, while the senate is not in session, a vacancy occur in any office the incumbent of which was appointed by the governor by and with the advice and consent of the senate, the governor shall appoint some qualified person to fill the same until the next session of the senate; and shall then appoint by and with the advice and consent of the senate some qualified person to fill said office for the period of the unexpired term.[1]

Section 6

Text of Section 6:

Date of General Elections

General elections shall be held in the state on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November in each even-numbered year.[1]

Section 7

Text of Section 7:

Canvass of Returns for Officers Elected by More Than One County

The returns of all elections for officers who are chosen by the electors of more than one county shall be canvassed by the county canvassing board of each county as to the vote within their respective counties. Said board shall immediately certify the number of votes received by each candidate for such office within such county, to the state canvassing board herein established, which shall canvass and declare the result of the election.[1]

Section 8

Text of Section 8:

First National Election

In the event that New Mexico is admitted into the union as a state prior to the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November in the year nineteen hundred and twelve, and if no provision has been made by the state legislature therefore, an election shall be held in the state on the said Tuesday next after the first Monday in November, nineteen hundred and twelve, for the election of presidential electors; and such election shall be held as herein provided for the election upon the ratification of this constitution, and the returns thereof made to, and canvassed and certified by, the state canvassing board as herein provided in case of the election of state officers.[1]

Section 9

Text of Section 9:

State Officers Limited to Salaries

No officer of the state who receives a salary, shall accept or receive to his own use any compensation, fees, allowance or emoluments for or on account of his office, in any form whatever, except the salary provided by law.[1]

Section 10

Text of Section 10:

Child Labor

The legislature shall enact suitable laws for the regulation of the employment of children.[1]

Section 11

Text of Section 11:

Women as Public Officers

Women may hold the office of notary public and such other appointive offices as may be provided by law.[1]

Section 12

Text of Section 12:

Publication of Laws in English and Spanish

For the first twenty years after this constitution goes into effect all laws passed by the legislature shall be published in both the English and Spanish languages and thereafter such publication shall be made as the legislature may provide.[1]

Section 13

Text of Section 13:

Sacramental Wines

The use of wines solely for sacramental purposes under church authority at any place within the state shall never be prohibited.[1]

Section 14

Text of Section 14:

Public Officers Barred from Using Railroad Passes

It shall not be lawful for the governor, any member of the state board of equalization, any member of the corporation commission [public regulation commission], any judge of the supreme or district court, any district attorney, any county commissioner or any county assessor, during his term of office to accept, hold or use any free pass; or purchase, receive or accept transportation over any railroad within this state for himself or his family upon terms not open to the general public; and any person violating the provisions hereof shall, upon conviction in a court of a competent jurisdiction, be punished as provided in Sections Thirty-Seven and Forty of the article on Legislative Department in this constitution.[1]

Section 15

Text of Section 15:

Penitentiary to Be Reformatory and Industrial School; Labor by Inmates

The penitentiary is a reformatory and an industrial school, and all persons confined therein shall, so far as consistent with discipline and the public interest, be employed in some beneficial industry; and where a convict has a dependent family, his net earnings shall be paid to said family if necessary for their support.[1]

Section 16

Text of Section 16:

Railroad's Liability to Employees

Every person, receiver or corporation owning or operating a railroad within this state shall be liable in damages for injury to, or the death of, any person in its employ, resulting from the negligence, in whole or in part, of said owner or operator, or of any of the officers, agents or employees thereof, or by reason of any defect or insufficiency, due to its negligence, in whole or in part, in its cars, engines, appliances, machinery, track, roadbed, works or other equipment.

An action for negligently causing the death of an employee as above provided shall be maintained by the executor or administrator for the benefit of the employee's surviving widow or husband and children; or if none, then his parents; or if none, then the next of kin dependent upon said deceased. The amount recovered may be distributed as provided by law. Any contract or agreement made in advance of such injury with any employee waiving or limiting any right to recover such damages shall be void.

This provision shall not be construed to affect the provisions of Section Two of Article Twenty-Two of this constitution, being the article upon Schedule.[1]

Section 17

Text of Section 17:


Section 18

Text of Section 18:

Leasing of Convict Labor Prohibited

The leasing of convict labor by the state is hereby prohibited.[1]

Section 19

Text of Section 19:

Eight-Hour Day in Public Employment

Eight hours shall constitute a day's work in all cases of employment by and on behalf of the state or any county or municipality thereof.[1]

Section 20

Text of Section 20:

Waiver of Indictment; Proceedings on Information

Any person held by a committing magistrate to await the action of the grand jury on a charge of felony or other infamous crime, may in open court with the consent of the court and the district attorney, to be entered upon the record, waive indictment and plead to an information in the form of an indictment filed by the district attorney, and further proceedings shall then be had upon said information with like force and effect as though it were an indictment duly returned by the grand jury.[1]

Section 21

Text of Section 21:

Pollution Control

The protection of the state's beautiful and healthful environment is hereby declared to be of fundamental importance to the public interest, health, safety and the general welfare. The legislature shall provide for control of pollution and control of despoilment of the air, water and other natural resources of this state, consistent with the use and development of these resources for the maximum benefit of the people.[1]


  • Added on November 2, 1971.

Section 22

Text of Section 22:

Public Employees and Educational Retirement Systems Trust Funds; Expenditures and Encumbrance Prohibited; Administration; Vesting of Property Rights

A. All funds, assets, proceeds, income, contributions, gifts and payments from any source whatsoever paid into or held by a public employees retirement system or an educational retirement system created by the laws of this state shall be held by each respective system in a trust fund to be administered and invested by each respective system for the sole and exclusive benefit of the members, retirees and other beneficiaries of that system. Expenditures from a system trust fund shall only be made for the benefit of the trust beneficiaries and for expenses of administering the system. A system trust fund shall never be used, diverted, loaned, assigned, pledged, invested, encumbered or appropriated for any other purpose. To the extent consistent with the provisions of this section, each trust fund shall be invested and the systems administered as provided by law.

B. The retirement board of the public employees retirement system and the board of the educational retirement system shall be the trustees for their respective systems and have the sole and exclusive fiduciary duty and responsibility for administration and investment of the trust fund held by their respective systems.

C. A retirement board shall have the sole and exclusive power and authority to adopt actuarial assumptions for its system based upon the recommendations made by an independent actuary with whom it contracts. The legislature shall not enact any law that increases the benefits paid by the system in any manner or changes the funding formula for a retirement plan unless adequate funding is provided.

D. Upon meeting the minimum service requirements of an applicable retirement plan created by law for employees of the state or any of its political subdivisions or institutions, a member of a plan shall acquire a vested property right with due process protections under the applicable provisions of the New Mexico and United States constitutions.

E. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit modifications to retirement plans that enhance or preserve the actuarial soundness of an affected trust fund or individual retirement plan.[1]


  • Added on November 3, 1998.

See also

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