SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Voters in New Mexico may be warming to the idea of professionalizing the nation’s only unsalaried Legislature.
A poll commissioned by the watchdog group Common Cause found that just over half of registered voters statewide support paying state lawmakers a yearly salary so that they can focus more on public service and less other employment.
New Mexico reimburses lawmakers for some expenses but provides no salary in a citizen legislature that brings together active or retired teachers, engineers, lawyers, ranchers and others for 30- and 60-day sessions in alternating years.
Poll results Wednesday also show nearly two-thirds of respondents favor lengthening legislative sessions to address policy and budgetary issues.
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Albuquerque-based Research and Polling surveyed 452 registered voters by phone in January, with an error margin of 4.6 percentage points.