Monday, October 19, 2009

Sen. Papen suggests legislators reduce per diem pay

With the state's combined budget deficit, for the 2009 and 2010 fiscal years, approaching a billion dollars one Southern New Mexico senator wants her colleagues to 'share the pain" of the states' financial distress.

Sen. Mary Kay Papen (D-Dona Ana-38), has introduced a resolution asking fellow legislators to voluntarily reduce their per diem reimbursement by a minimum of ten percent for the remainder of the forty-ninth legislature.”

Her resolution notes that “while legislative agencies are included in the budget cuts, the rate of per diem reimbursement for legislators is set in the constitution of New Mexico.”

“I believe it’s important that the people of the state know that their legislators understand and are willing to share in the cuts that will need to be made in order to achieve a sound, balanced budget. And if this is done on a voluntary basis, I think it underscores the commitment of our legislators to do what is right and what is best to achieve that result,” Papen said .“A majority of Democratic Senators quickly signed onto SCR 1. I am encouraged that others will follow suit by supporting this effort. And I am hoping that we get a similar response in the House,” added Senator Papen.

If approved by the Senate, the measure then goes to the House for consideration and possible approval. The measure would not need the Governor’s signature.

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