2015-2016

CVNM Conservation Scorecard – Conservation Voters New Mexico

About Our Legislators

About Our Legislators

The New Mexico state legislature is comprised of 42 senators and 70 representatives, for a total of 112 members. The Senate began the 2015 legislative session with 25 Democrats and 17 Republicans and the House of Representatives includes 37 Republicans and 33 Democrats.*

Citizen Legislature

New Mexico is one of only a handful of states still served by a “citizen legislature,” meaning that state legislators are not monetarily compensated and generally have occupations outside of their service as public officials. Although New Mexico legislators receive a modest allowance for mileage and expenses for attending sessions and interim committee meetings, the state constitution prohibits any other compensation.

Sessions

A “legislature” in New Mexico, such as the “52nd Legislature,” consists of two sessions split into two-year cycles, for which legislators convene in mid-January. In odd-numbered years, legislators convene for a “long session” of 60 days. In even-numbered years, they meet for a “short session” of 30 days, during which only budget matters and issues approved by the Governor may be considered. The 52nd Legislature includes the 2015 long session and the 2016 short session. New Mexico legislative sessions are among the shortest in the country.

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*Republican Sen. Ted Barela was appointed to the Senate District 39 seat after the legislative session to fill the vacancy left by Democratic Sen. Phil Griego’s resignation during the session. Therefore, Sen. Barela did not cast any votes in the 2015 legislative session. His combined 2015-2016 score is the result of his votes cast in 2016 only. The same is true of Rep. Idalia Lechuga-Tena, who was appointed to complete the remainder of Rep. Stephanie Maez’s term after she stepped down.