Watchdog: Follow the Money

New Mexico lawmakers average $16,000 in compensation

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Associated Press,Watchdog,Watchdog Blog,New Mexico,Follow the Money

SANTA FE, N.M. — State records show that New Mexico legislators averaged a little over $16,000 in compensation last year although they receive no annual salary.

The New Mexico Legislature is part-time. House and Senate members collect a daily expense payment, called a per diem, when the Legislature is in session and while attending or traveling to committee meetings throughout the rest of the year.

Four state senators were the highest compensated members of the Legislature last year, according to information from the Department of Finance and Administration obtained by the Associated Press through a public records request.

Democratic Sen. John Pinto of Gallup collected $27,463. Democratic Sen. Carlos Cisneros received $26,905, and Republican Sen. Lee Cotter of Las Cruces got $26,800. Senate President Mary Kay Papen, a Las Cruces Democrat, received $26,289.

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