New Mexico State Senate
|New Mexico State Senate|
|2014 session start:||January 15, 2013|
|Website:||Official Senate Page|
|Senate President:||John A. Sanchez, (R)|
|Majority Leader:||Michael Sanchez (D)|
|Minority leader:||Stuart Ingle, (R)|
| Democratic Party (
|Length of term:||4 years|
|Authority:||Art IV, Section 3, New Mexico Constitution|
|Salary:||$0/year + per diem|
|Last Election:||November 6, 2012 (42 seats)|
|Next election:||November 8, 2016 (42 seats)|
|Redistricting:||New Mexico legislature has control.|
- 1 Sessions
- 2 Ethics and transparency
- 3 Elections
- 4 Redistricting
- 5 Senators
- 6 Senate Standing Committees
- 7 History
- 8 External links
- 9 References
As of April 2014, New Mexico is one of 14 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 New Mexico State Legislature, of which the Senate is a part, 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 2014 state legislative sessions
In 2014, the Legislature is projected to be in session from January 21 through February 20.
- 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 Senate 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.  As of late July, a special session will be scheduled for early September, however, a date has not been confirmed by Governor Susana Martinez. As of late July, issues on the agenda include:
- Fireworks use and sale ban in very dry years
- A measure giving in-state companies an advantage when bidding for contracts
- A ban on issuing driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants
Ethics and transparency
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.
- See also: New Mexico State Senate elections, 2012
The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was February 14, 2012, and the primary election day was June 5, 2012.
|2012 Donors, New Mexico State Senate|
|New Mexico Trial Lawyers Association||$79,000|
|New Mexico Realtors Association||$54,700|
|Independent Community Bankers Association Of New Mexico||$34,750|
|Conservation Voters New Mexico||$31,921|
The following table details the 10 districts with the smallest margin of victory in the November 6 general election.
|2012 Margin of Victory, New Mexico State Senate|
|District||Winner||Margin of Victory||Total Votes||Top Opponent|
|District 9||John Sapien||0.7%||23,147||David Doyle|
|District 18||Lisa Torraco||3.6%||23,340||Bill G. Tallman|
|District 37||William P. Soules||4.3%||17,887||Cathey Jo Alberson|
|District 32||Cliff R. Pirtle||4.5%||11,348||Timothy Jennings|
|District 15||Daniel Ivey-Soto||5.8%||20,660||H. Diane Snyder|
|District 30||Clemente Sanchez||6.1%||16,677||Vickie Perea|
|District 36||Lee S. Cotter||7.8%||16,972||Mary Jane Garcia|
|District 10||John Ryan||8.6%||18,537||Joseph J. Carraro|
|District 40||Craig W. Brandt||10.6%||18,051||Linda M. Allison|
|District 39||Phil Griego||10.6%||18,343||Aubrey Dunn|
- See also: New Mexico State Senate elections, 2008
Elections for the office of the New Mexico State Senate were held in New Mexico on November 4, 2008. State Senate seats in all 42 districts were up for election in 2008.
The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was March 18, 2008, and the primary election day was June 3, 2008.
During the 2008 election, the total contributions to the Senate candidates was $4,353,112. The top 10 contributors were: 
|2008 Donors, New Mexico State Senate|
|New Mexico Trial Lawyers Association||$73,650|
|Conservation Voters New Mexico||$73,030|
|Conservatives for a Republican Majority||$64,367|
|Cmte to Elect Senate Democrats||$58,147|
|New Mexico Medical Society||$50,450|
- See also: New Mexico State Senate elections, 2004
Elections for the office of the New Mexico State Senate consisted of a primary election day on June 1, 2004, and a general election on November 2, 2004.
During the 2004 election, the total contributions to the Senate candidates was $2,464,793. The top 10 contributors were: 
|2004 Donors, New Mexico State Senate|
|Moving America Forward||$112,735|
|New Mexico Democratic Legislative Campaign Cmte||$46,131|
|New Mexico Trial Lawyers Association/Cmte on Individual Responsibility||$35,350|
|Moving America Forward||$32,259|
|Association of Commerce & Industry of New Mexico||$27,500|
|New Mexico Automotive Dealers Association/Car of New Mexico||$23,800|
|Diamond, Jeffrey B||$20,975|
|Presbyterian Health Plan||$20,400|
- See also: New Mexico State Senate elections, 2000
Elections for the office of the New Mexico State Senate consisted of a primary election day on June 6, 2000, and a general election on November 7, 2000.
During the 2000 election, the total contributions to the Senate candidates was $3,276,213. The top 10 contributors were: 
|2000 Donors, New Mexico State Senate|
|New Mexico Democratic Legislative Campaign Cmte||$225,061|
|Democratic Congressional Campaign Cmte||$75,000|
|New Mexico Trial Lawyers Association/Cmte on Individual Responsibility||$74,610|
|New Mexico Republican Party||$68,175|
|National Republican Senatorial Cmte/NRSC||$45,000|
|Gorham, Frank D||$40,000|
|National Republican Senatorial Cmte||$40,000|
|New Mexico Medical Society||$37,200|
Article 4, Section 3 of the New Mexico Constitution states: Senators shall not be less than twenty-five years of age and representatives not less than twenty-one years of age at the time of their election. If any senator or representative permanently removes his residence from or maintains :No Residence in the district from which he was elected, then he shall be deemed to have resigned and his successor shall be selected as provided in Section 4 of this article. No person shall be eligible to serve in the legislature who, at the time of qualifying, holds any office of trust or profit with the state, county or national governments, except notaries public and officers of the militia who receive no salary.
| How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures |
If there is a vacancy in the Senate, the Board of County Commissioners in the county representing the vacant seat must appoint a replacement. There are no deadlines set by Article IV, Section 4 of the New Mexico Constitution which governs legislative vacancies. The appointed replacement serves for the remainder of the unfilled term.
- 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.
- See also: Partisan composition of state senates
|Party||As of April 2014|
The Lieutenant Governor of New Mexico is the presiding officer of the Senate and in that capacity is referred to as President of the Senate. However, the Lt. Gov can only vote in the case of a tie.
The Senate Committees' Committee exercises leadership and administrative control of the Senate. The committee is chaired by the president pro tempore and is made up of majority and minority leaders.
|Current Leadership, New Mexico State Senate|
|President Pro Tempore of the Senate||Mary Kay Papen||Democratic|
|State Senate Majority Floor Leader||Michael Sanchez||Democratic|
|State Senate Majority Whip||Timothy M. Keller||Democratic|
|State Senate Minority Floor Leader||Stuart Ingle||Republican|
|State Senate Minority Whip||William Payne||Republican|
List of current members
Senate Standing Committees
The New Mexico Senate has 9 standing committees:
- Committees' Committee
- Corporations and Transportation
- Indian and Cultural Affairs
- Public Affairs
Partisan balance 1992-2013
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.
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 have 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.
- Population in 2010 of the American states, accessed November 22, 2013
- Population in 2000 of the American states, accessed November 22, 2013
- 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
- Latin American Herald Tribune, "Undocumented New Mexicans Can Still Get Driver’s Licenses," February 19, 2012
- 2011 Legislative Sessions Calendar, NCSL
- KRQE.com, Special session agenda getting longer, July 18, 2011
- South Carolina Policy Council "50 State Legislative Session Interactive Map," February 2011
- 2010 session dates for New Mexico Legislature
- Sunlight Foundation, "Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information," accessed June 16, 2013
- Follow the Money "New Mexico State Senate 2012 Campaign Contributions"
- Follow the Money "New Mexico State Senate 2008 Campaign Contributions"
- Follow the Money "New Mexico State Senate 2004 Campaign Contributions"
- Follow the Money "New Mexico State Senate 2000 Campaign Contributions"
- New Mexico Legislature "New Mexico Constitution"(Referenced Section, Article IV, Section 4)
- 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," March 15, 2011. Retrieved August 20, 2012.
- The Republic, "New Mexico's redistricting costs total nearly $8M, exceeding expenses a decade ago," August 2, 2012. Retrieved August 20, 2012
- NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013
- New Mexico Legislative Handbook - Pg. 8 "Organization"
- New Mexico Senate Leadership
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 |