New Mexico State Legislature
|New Mexico State Legislature|
|2015 session start:||January 20, 2015|
|Website:||Official Legislature Page|
|Senate President:||John Sanchez (R)|
|House Speaker:||Don Tripp (R)|
|Majority Leader:|| Michael Sanchez (D) (Senate),|
Nathaniel Gentry (R) (House)
|Minority leader:|| Stuart Ingle (R) (Senate),|
Brian Egolf, Jr. (D) (House)
|Members:||42 (Senate), 70 (House)|
|Length of term:||4 years (Senate), 2 years (House)|
|Authority:||Art IV, Section 3, New Mexico Constitution|
|Salary:||$0/year + per diem|
|Last Election:||November 4, 2014 |
70 seats (House)
|Next election:||November 8, 2016 |
42 seats (Senate)
70 seats (House)
|Redistricting:||New Mexico Legislature has control|
- 1 Sessions
- 2 Ethics and transparency
- 3 Senate
- 4 House of Representatives
- 5 History
- 6 Redistricting
- 7 Legislators
- 8 Constitutional amendments
- 9 See also
- 10 External links
- 11 References
The legislature consists of 70 representatives and 42 senators. Each member of the House represents roughly 25,980 residents of New Mexico. Each member of the Senate represents roughly 43,300 residents.
As of January 2015, New Mexico is one of 19 states that is under divided government and is therefore not one of the state government trifectas.
Article IV of the New Mexico Constitution establishes when the Legislature is to be in session. Section 5 of Article IV states that the Legislature is to convene its annual regular session on the third Tuesday of January. In odd-numbered years, the Legislature is to be in session for no longer than sixty days. In even-numbered years, the Legislature is to be in session for no longer than thirty days. In even-numbered years, the Legislature is limited to dealing with budgetary matters, bills that deal with issues raised by special messages of the Governor of New Mexico, and bills vetoed in the previous session by the Governor.
Section 6 of Article IV allows the Governor of New Mexico to call special sessions of the Legislature. Section 6 also allows the Legislature to meet in special session when three-fifths of each house petition the Governor with a request for a special session. Special sessions are not to exceed thirty days in length.
- See also: Dates of 2015 state legislative sessions
In 2015, the Legislature will be in session from January 20 through March 21 (Projected).
- See also: Dates of 2014 state legislative sessions
In 2014, the Legislature was in session from January 21 through February 20.
Major issues during the 2014 legislative session included the economy, the budget, infrastructure and education.
- See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions
In 2013, the Legislature was in session from January 15 to March 16.
Major issues in the 2013 legislative session included education, solvency of the state's public retirement system, tax cuts for state businesses, and tougher anti-DWI laws.
- See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions
In 2012, the Legislature was in session from January 17 through February 16.
In their 30-day session the legislature considered drivers licenses for illegal immigrants, voter identification, business income tax, ethics reform, and defining homeowner rights in foreclosure proceedings.
Gov. Susana Martinez (R) watched as the state legislature ended its session by rejecting a bill that would have repealed the law allowing drivers licenses to be issued to people without Social Security numbers. It was the third time she has tried to undo the law. The bill was initially passed by the House but defeated in the Senate. The Senate instead passed a measure shortening how long the licenses are valid and imposing harsher penalties on those committing fraud.
In 2011, the Legislature was in session from January 18 through March 19.
Role in state budget
- See also: New Mexico state budget
- Budget instruction guidelines are sent to state agencies in July.
- State agencies submit their budget requests in September.
- Agency hearings are held in September and December.
- The governor submits his or her budget proposal to the New Mexico State Legislature on the first day of the legislative session.
- The legislature adopts a budget in February or March. A simple majority is required to pass a budget.
The governor is constitutionally required to submit a balanced budget. In turn, the legislature is also constitutionally required to pass a balanced budget.
The Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative released a report in July 2013 which indicated that cost-benefit analysis in policymaking led to more effective uses of public funds. Looking at data from 2008 through 2011, the study's authors found that some states were more likely to use cost-benefit analysis while others were facing challenges and lagging behind the rest of the nation. Among the challenges states faced were a lack of time, money and technical skills needed to conduct comprehensive cost-benefit analyses. New Mexico was one of 29 states with mixed results regarding the frequency and effectiveness in its use of cost-benefit analysis.
Ethics and transparency
Following the Money report
- See also: Following the Money 2014 Report
The U.S. Public Interest Research Group, a consumer-focused nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., released its annual report on state transparency websites in April 2014. The report, entitled "Following the Money," measured how transparent and accountable state websites are with regard to state government spending. According to the report, New Mexico received a grade of C+ and a numerical score of 77, indicating that New Mexico was "middling" in terms of transparency regarding state spending.
Open States Transparency
The Sunlight Foundation released an "Open Legislative Data Report Card" in March 2013. New Mexico was given a grade of C in the report. The report card evaluated how adequate, complete and accessible legislative data is to the general public. A total of 10 states received an A -- Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
The New Mexico Senate is the upper house of the New Mexico State Legislature. There are 42 members of the Senate. Each member represents an average of 49,028 residents, as of the 2010 Census. After the 2000 Census, each member represented 43,311. All 42 seats are up for election every four years.
|Party||As of January 2015|
House of Representatives
The New Mexico House of Representatives is the lower house of the New Mexico State Legislature. There are 70 members of the House. Each member represents an average of 29,417 residents, as of the 2010 Census. After the 2000 Census, each member represented 25,986.
|Party||As of January 2015|
Partisan balance 1992-2013
New Mexico State Senate: During every year from 1992-2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the New Mexico State Senate. The New Mexico State Senate is 1 of 16 state senates that was Democratic for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013.
Across the country, there were 541 Democratic and 517 Republican state senates from 1992 to 2013.
New Mexico State House of Representatives: During every year from 1992-2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the New Mexico State House of Representatives. The New Mexico State House of Representatives is one of 18 state Houses that was Democratic for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013.
Across the country, there were 577 Democratic and 483 Republican State Houses of Representatives from 1992 to 2013.
Over the course of the 22-year study, state governments became increasingly more partisan. At the outset of the study period (1992), 18 of the 49 states with partisan legislatures had single-party trifectas and 31 states had divided governments. In 2013, only 13 states had divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.
SQLI and partisanship
The chart below depicts the partisanship of the New Mexico state government and the state's SQLI ranking for the years studied. For the SQLI, the states were ranked from 1-50, with 1 being the best and 50 the worst. New Mexico experienced two Democratic trifectas during the years of the study, from 1992-1994 and from 2003-2010. The state finished in the bottom-10 during every year of the study. Its worst ranking, finishing 50th, occurred from 1999-2000, during a divided government. Its best ranking, finishing 41st, occurred in 2008, during a Democratic trifecta.
- See also: Redistricting in New Mexico
The New Mexico Legislature is responsible for redistricting. In 2011, it formed an 18-member interim redistricting committee to make recommendations for the actual redistricting process in the Legislature.
New Mexico received its local census data on March 15, 2011. The state grew 13.2 percent from 2000 to 2010, with notable growth in its most populous cities; Albuquerque grew by 21.7 percent, Las Cruces grew by 31.4 percent, Rio Rancho grew by 69.1 percent, Santa Fe grew by 9.2 percent and Roswell grew by 6.8 percent.
At the time of redistricting, Democrats controlled the Legislature while the Governor, Susana Martinez was a Republican. The interim committee reviewed eight House maps and nine Senate maps before the special redistricting session of the Legislature began on September 6, 2011. On September 21, the Senate passed a map on party lines, with the House following the next day. Gov. Martinez vetoed the maps on October 7, leaving a court to resolve the process. By the time new maps were passed, $8 million had been spent.
- See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries
As of 2013, members of the New Mexico Legislature are not paid a salary. Per diem is $154/day tied to the federal rate.
When sworn in
New Mexico legislators assume office January 1st.
The New Mexico legislature has the authority to vote to place proposed constitutional amendments to the New Mexico Constitution on the statewide ballot for approval or rejection by the state's voters. There are five such legislative referrals on the November 4, 2008 ballot in the state.
- New Mexico State Senate
- New Mexico House of Representatives
- New Mexico state legislative districts
- State legislative scorecards in New Mexico
- University of New Mexico, "New Mexico 2015 Legislative session opens," accessed January 21, 2014
- www.santafenewmexican.com/, "Issues facing the New Mexico Legislature ," accessed January 21, 2014
- ABQ Journal, "Legislature: New Members, Old Issues," January 13, 2013
- Santa Fe New Mexican, "Election-year tension and redrawn districts set stage for political dramas at the Capitol," January 15, 2012(Archived)
- Latin American Herald Tribune, "Undocumented New Mexicans Can Still Get Driver’s Licenses," February 19, 2012
- National Conference of State Legislatures, "2011 Legislative Sessions Calendar," accessed June 6, 2014(Archived)
- South Carolina Policy Council, "50 State Legislative Session Interactive Map," February 2011 (dead link)(Dead link)
- New Mexico Legislature, "Session Dates," accessed August 12, 2014
- National Conference of State Legislatures "State Experiences with Annual and Biennial Budgeting," updated April 2011
- National Association of State Budget Officers "Budget Processes in the States, Summer 2008," accessed February 21, 2014
- Pew Charitable Trusts, "States’ Use of Cost-Benefit Analysis," July 29, 2013
- U.S. Public Interest Research Group, "Following the Money 2014 Report," accessed April 15, 2014
- Sunlight Foundation, "Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information," accessed June 16, 2013
- census.gov, "Population Distribution and Change: 2000 to 2010," accessed May 15, 2014
- census.gov, "Census 2000 PHC-T-2. Ranking Tables for States: 1990 and 2000," accessed May 15, 2014
- U.S. Census Bureau, "U.S. Census Bureau Delivers New Mexico's 2010 Census Population Totals, Including First Look at Race and Hispanic Origin Data for Legislative Redistricting," accessed August 12, 2014
- The Republic, "New Mexico's redistricting costs total nearly $8M, exceeding expenses a decade ago," August 2, 2012. Accessed August 20, 2012(Archived)
- NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013
State of New Mexico
Santa Fe (capital)
|State executive officers||
Governor | Lieutenant Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | Treasurer | State Auditor | Secretary of Education | Superintendent of Insurance | Secretary of Agriculture | Secretary of Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources | Secretary of Workforce Solutions | Chairman of Public Regulation Commission |