Panel Oks Bill To Pay for NM Legislative Session

Jan 22, 2014

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Lawmakers are moving ahead quickly with a bill to pay for expenses of the Legislature's 30-day session.

A few hours after lawmakers convened yesterday, the House Appropriations and Finance Committee approved the measure to provide nearly $5.4 million for session costs, which include salaries for staff as well as the printing of bills.

Legislators aren't paid a yearly salary, but they receive $159 a day to reimburse them for expenses.

The bill allocates about $16 million for year-round legislative operations, including permanent committees on education and finance and the Legislative Council Service, the Legislature's bill-drafting and administrative arm.

The measure heads to the House for an expected vote this week. The proposal, called the "feed bill," by lawmakers, traditionally is the first piece of legislation approved during annual legislative sessions.