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New Mexico lawmaker plans to co-sponsor initiative to address paying lawmakers a salary


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico is home to the nation’s only unsalaried legislature. Now, lawmakers there are looking for ways instill greater professionalism in their work that could result in a steady paycheck and lengthier legislative calendar. Democratic state State Rep. Joy Garratt of Albuquerque said she plans to co-sponsor a ballot initiative to create a commission with the authority to set salaries for legislators.

A new study from the University of New Mexico ranks the state near the bottom among state legislatures in its capacity to perform a wide range of government oversight duties and acquire broad expertise. In several states, lawmakers have balked at approving their own pay raises in fear of angering voters.