capitol reports

Capitol Report, Tuesday, January 19

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State Officials could see a large increase in their paycheck under a proposed bill supported by an influential interim legislative committee.

Jason Espinoza reports from the Roundhouse:

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During a January 17th meeting, the Legislative Finance Committee endorsed a bill that proposes to increase the salaries of key state elected officials.

Supporters of the proposal say the salary increases are “way overdue.”

The bill would increase salaries for elected officials including governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, state auditor, state treasurer, attorney general, commissioner for public lands, and public regulation commissioners.

Specifically, the governor’s salary would be increased from 110 thousand to 150 thousand annually. The salary for attorney general would increase from 95 thousand to 125 thousand annually, while the other state elected officials would see similar salary bumps.

The proposal would cost $160 thousand for the first year but is expected to increase once the salary increases are fully implemented.

One critic of the proposal stated that compensation discussions usually relate to hard to fill positions in state government and noted that New Mexico doesn’t seem to have shortage of candidates running for these elected positions.

During the legislative finance committee hearing, staff noted that the salaries of these elected officials are set by statute, meaning they are not eligible for annual proposed state employee pay increases.

The proposal will be formally introduced as a piece of legislation that will then be considered by legislative committees in each respective chamber.

For the New Mexico News Network, I’m Jason Espinoza

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