skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Day of action focuses on CT undocumented's healthcare needs; 7 jurors seated in first Trump criminal trial; ND looks to ease 'upskill' obstacles for former college students; Black Maternal Health Week ends, health disparities persist.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Seven jury members were seated in Trump's hush money case. House Speaker Johnson could lose his job over Ukraine aid. And the SCOTUS heard oral arguments in a case that could undo charges for January 6th rioters.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Fears grow that low-income folks living in USDA housing could be forced out, North Carolina's small and Black-owned farms are helped by new wind and solar revenues, and small towns are eligible for grants to boost civic participation..

Women in NM Legislature make the case for an annual salary

play audio
Play

Monday, February 26, 2024   

New Mexico's Legislature is becoming more diverse but its lawmakers are still the only ones unpaid in the nation, limiting who can afford to serve, and some lawmakers want voters to change it.

For several years a group of legislators -- all women and all Democrats -- have advocated for modernizing the system to provide lawmakers with a base salary.

Rep. Joy Garratt, D-Albuquerque, said many women and people of color don't have jobs allowing them to serve, which is why until recently, both chambers were primarily dominated by wealthy white men.

"It doesn't look like that anymore, but there's so many people that would be excellent legislators, but they can't quit their jobs - there's not the kind of support that they need."

Garratt said the bill to pay lawmakers a salary saw some traction in 2023 but this year's short, 30-day session stalled efforts.

If it is successful next year, the bill would send a constitutional amendment to voters to decide. Legislators' pay amounts would then be determined by a citizens' commission, which Republican lawmakers have said could be dangerous unless there is a salary cap.

Some argued without a salary, it is difficult to govern effectively with committee meetings, planning sessions, calls and emails coming in all year. When Garratt was elected, she was still teaching school but said her union contract allowed professional leave for legislative duties.

While lawmakers receive a per diem rate of about $200 per day to cover some expenses, Garratt believes a salary might make running for office a feasible option for parents and other full-time workers.

"We're not California with $112,000 salaries; we're not New York with $146,000, we're New Mexico," Garratt stressed. "We're not looking for this elaborate salary but we're looking for more of a living wage-type salary."

Garratt would like to see a separate referendum passed to make all legislative sessions 60 days. New Mexico's are among the shortest legislative sessions in the U.S.


get more stories like this via email

more stories
Since 2009, Market Match has served tens of thousands of low-income Californians to buy produce at markets like this one in San Francisco.(Heart of the City Market)

Social Issues

play sound

California's program helping low-income families buy fresh fruit and vegetables is on the chopping block and health care advocates are asking legislat…


Social Issues

play sound

A persistent child care worker shortage across New Hampshire is leaving families with few options. The state is currently short more than 7,000 …

Social Issues

play sound

The child welfare system in Pennsylvania faces a staffing crisis affecting children and families throughout the system. The Child Welfare Resource …


By 2031, good jobs accessible to people with only a high school education will represent just 6% of all jobs. (bodnarphoto/Adobe Stock)

play sound

Work is being done in rural areas across Texas to make sure students are prepared for the workforce even if they intend to stay put after graduation…

play sound

This summer, colleges and universities will have to comply with a new federal rule and not withhold students' transcripts over unpaid tuition and …

From 2017 to 2019, Ohio ranked 46th among 50 states for pollution exposure, including exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) pollution. (Halfpoint/Adobe Stock)

play sound

Recent data ranks Columbus as the most polluted major city in the U.S., highlighting concerns about common pollutants, like smog and vehicle …

Health and Wellness

play sound

While Black Maternal Health Week is wrapping up, health disparities for pregnant Black women continues to be an issue. From April 11-17 this year…

Social Issues

play sound

Kentuckians have less than a week to register to vote in next month's primary election. If folks miss the April 22 deadline, residents can still …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021