Some legislators in New Mexico tire of amateur status

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The nation’s only unsalaried legislature in New Mexico is considering whether to abandon its amateur status.

A proposed constitutional amendment, from Democratic Sens. Daniel Ivey-Soto of Albuquerque and Bobby Gonzales of Taos, would enable the state’s 112 legislators to collect salaries.

The proposal was scheduled for its first vetting Monday in front of a Senate panel. Approval by the New Mexico Legislature would send the measure to a statewide vote.

New Mexico’s “citizen legislature” of volunteer politicians has long been a source of civic pride in the state. Members receive a roughly $165 daily stipend during sessions and some money for gas.