We need to pay our legislators

Comments

  1. MzO says:

    I don’t know, I am not sure paying them would make them work any harder. The threat of being voted out of office should be incentive enough. They do get a per diem. I think that paying them would attract more people who just want to earn money without having to do that much, rather than people who really want to try to make a change.

  2. durablebrad says:

    Heath,

    I suggest $15 an hour plus expenses… and that’s my final offer. LOL!

  3. aliregarcia says:

    Very strong argument here, IMHO. I totally agree.. but I’m a tad pessimistic that such an amendment would pass the voters’ test. Of course, we won’t know until a full-time legislature is put to a vote….

  4. new_mexican says:

    Well, well, well! We finally agree on something. It would serve us all better if we paid them a decent salary. How many people do you know who have this type of time to serve for nothing.

  5. demrep says:

    Many of them already get paid plenty, under the table or by taking advantage of their position to capitalize on insider information or special deals, or making sure their familiy members get good paying jobs that don’t require them to work.

  6. Mr. Magoo says:

    I reviewed the legislature web site to review their occupations. The most frequent were educators, lawyers, and retired. For those not retired there are a quite a large number that are employees of public school systems, city and county governments, or other public financed organizations. Do these people not receive their regular pay while they are serving as legislatures? While I agree that the amount legislatures receive for per diem does not cover the high cost of staying in Santa Fe, do we let legislatures who are public employees “double dip”?

  7. larryg says:

    Heath’s suggestion is at best a partial answer to a real problem. Legislators I know work full time or nearly that at serving us. There is committee assignment work outside the sessions, research, and communication with constituents to be done year round. And running for office is part of the job that takes a lot of time. Heath leaves undiscussed whether it is $25,000 for a 30 day or 60 day session. Even at the more generous amount it’s still part time pay for a full time, possibly short term job which would not allow that many more people to particpate. Public service used to be considered a civic responsibility, not a profession. Do we want to emulate the federal level on this? And next would be a full-time staff for each legislator to match the governor’s resources.

    A better solution might be a part time governor.

  8. wedum59 says:

    You might find it instructive to interview some former legislators, for example former HD 54 rep Joe Stell, who served in the legislature for 20 years. He is a rancher and therefore an independent businessman (one you call “successfully self-employed”).

  9. Dr. J says:

    When they are worth something and actually do something of value for society, pay them. Today they are properly compensated.

  10. Ramirez says:

    Yes! I agree Heath. Until then, we will be subject to a very small selection of potential candidates: Those that have large sums of personal wealth, and retirees. I know many young folks that would love to run, and serve in the Legislature. The truth is, they cannot afford to leave their jobs during the year to run, and work in the legislaure. This would weed out corruption, and provide us with a diverse array of individuals from various backgrounds.

  11. Gregory Z. Smith says:

    Heath, yes, we should, but I’ve heard it suggested that the legislators are too fearful of not being re-elected to even propose it. Seems like sometimes you just gotta stand up for what’s right and then just take the lumps if that many people truly disagree.

  12. DAVID says:

    I pray you are advocating this to the Governor.

    The legislature may face a tough argument with today’s Tea Party spenders trying to give themselves a raise.

  13. Show Me says:

    Even Gov. Carruthers, former head of Gov. Richardson’s Ethics Task Force understood that paying legislators IS ethics reform…But of course he never publicy fought for that or got his republican colleagues in the Leg. to support it. And therein lies the problem, politics. Its too easy to demagogue the issue of paying legislators, and than you have people of influence on the right, like Caruthers, who know the difference but dont have the leadership to stand up to his country club right wing buddies to do the right thing. WIthout real leaders and statesmen on the right and left thinking about our future, political hacks will continue to lurch us from one crisis to another…Oh well Heath, I do agree with you and so do many folks.

  14. GFA says:

    Until we have true ethics reform and term limits should NM legislators be paid.