Despite New Mexico being a small state and not requiring a full-time legislature, a far-left dark money group, Common Cause New Mexico, funded by none other than billionaire George Soros, wants to disassemble the state’s Citizen Legislature and replace it with a full-time, salaried body that will meet all year round.
Legislators from the Democrat Party and the extreme “moderate” wing of the Republican Party have repeatedly whined about not getting paid, despite them getting daily per diem and a hefty pension once they complete a decade of service to the state. These cries come despite knowing full-well that the Legislature was a body designed for THE PEOPLE and at the time of running for office knowing it was a part-time, unpaid gig.
Socialist Rep. Angelica Rubio (D-Doña Ana) claimed in 2019 while sponsoring a bill to pay legislators a salary, that the current system has people “being left out of the system.”
Sen. Bill Soules (D-Doña Ana), who has been in the New Mexico Senate since 2013, tweeted a picture of a dollar bill, writing, “#nmleg. ‘Another day another ………’. Oh wait. That’s right. The New Mexico Legislature is unpaid. The only unpaid legislature in the country.”
Sen. Antoinette Sedillo Lopez (D-Bernalillo), who failed in her attempt to win a special election for the U.S. House in District One, is already complaining about the Legislature not paying members a traditional salary, chiming in on Soules’ conversation, writing, “Being unpaid and part-time makes this branch of government weak.”
“Moderate” Rep. Alonzo Baldonado (R-Valencia), while defending Rep. Kelly Fajardo’s (R-Valencia) vote in favor of Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s “mini” Green New Deal, wrote, “For all of you out there that think making votes and not getting paid to do it is easy….I say you go do it.” In 2022, many conservative Republicans will do it and some of these Republicans will be surprised that primary challengers who want to work for THE PEOPLE will step up and run.
Despite all the misinformation from ungrateful supposed “public servants,” legislators in New Mexico do get reimbursed through a daily per diem for their work, which is $184 a day and 58 cents a mile. They also get a hefty pension for their service. After ten years, it amounts to $10,824.00.
But Common Cause New Mexico wants to destroy New Mexico’s system, which has worked for over one hundred years and install career politicians in place, which will not only be another cost to the taxpayers, such as the need for full-time staffers, but it will keep representatives and senators away from the constituencies they represent.
The dark money organization contends, “Elected officials are limited in their abilities to understand complex issues and cannot serve their constituents effectively. With a lack of trained office staff, legislators are left to rely on the expertise of professional lobbyists, who can then exert undue influence.” But the job of a legislator is to do the work of keeping up with these issues and serving constituents effectively. When they run for office, they should have expertise on these issues. That’s the whole job.
Now, far-left legislators like Rep. Joy Garratt (D-Bernalillo) are lobbying for this proposal to upend the state’s current framework. Leftists are likely to claim this change must come now in the 2022 Legislative Session due to redistricting. If a resolution destroying the Legislature as it currently stands is passed, it would require the voters to approve it at the ballot box.
It is unclear if this would squeak through during the upcoming 30-day session, although scandal-ridden alleged serial groper Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has called special sessions for non-pertinent issues such as legalizing recreational marijuana.