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A Paycheck By Any Other Name

A paycheck is a paycheck. You can call it something else (subscription), but it is still a paycheck:

The measures would give each New Mexico lawmaker $16,000 a year for legislative expenses, establish an independent ethics commission that could recommend disciplinary action, and place limits on gifts and campaign contributions to state public officials and political candidates.

It is ironic that ethics legislation would begin by doing something that is contrary to the state constitution:

Sec. 10. [Compensation of members.]

Each member of the legislature shall receive:

A. per diem at the internal revenue service per diem rate for the city of Santa Fe for each day’s attendance during each session of the legislature and the internal revenue service standard mileage rate for each mile traveled in going to and returning from the seat of government by the usual traveled route, once each session as defined by Article 4, Section 5 of this constitution;

B. per diem expense and mileage at the same rates as provided in Subsection A of this section for service at meetings required by legislative committees established by the legislature to meet in the interim between sessions; and

C. no other compensation, perquisite or allowance. (As amended November 7, 1944, September 15, 1953, November 2, 1971, November 2, 1982 and November 5, 1996.)

And here I thought only the people could vote on changes to the constitution. Oh well, I guess once the legislature decided that big retirement bonuses were ok, it was only a matter of time before they pushed for paychecks.