Legislature Votes To Extend Length Of Legislative Sessions


Bipartisan legislation lengthening New Mexico’s legislative session and making important updates to current procedures passed the House of Representatives today. 

With broad bipartisan support from a total of 20 sponsors, led by Rep. Daymon Ely (D-Corrales), Rep. Georgene Louis (D-Albuquerque), Rep. Rod Montoya (R-Farmington), and House Minority Leader Jim Townsend (R-Artesia), House Joint Resolution 13: Legislative Session Changes extends from 30 days to 45 the length of sessions during even-numbered years. Odd-numbered years would remain at their current length of 60 days.

The bill also removes current restrictions limiting even-numbered year legislation to bills addressing revenue, requested by the governor, and those vetoed by the governor in the prior year. It also changes the default effective date for legislation from 90 to 75 days after the legislature adjourns. As a Constitutional Amendment, the measures in the bill would go to the voters after passing the Senate. 

“New Mexico’s population has more than doubled since the current stipulations were put in place in 1964,” said Rep. Ely. “In order to conduct successful legislative sessions and remain responsive to the needs of our communities, we must extend our sessions beyond a mere 30 days and remove outdated rules that restrict what we’re able to accomplish.” 

“Our state’s legislature is composed entirely of volunteers, and the current 30-days sessions are simply not sufficient to complete all the work we owe our constituents for an entire year,” said Rep. Louis. “It’s time for us to move into the 21st century and update our legislative sessions so that we have adequate time and flexibility to address the needs of New Mexicans today.” 

HJR 13 passed the House with a 45-21 vote, and will now go to the Senate. 

Members of the public can track legislation on the New Mexico Legislature website, access committee meetings and House floor sessions via the Webcasts tab, or participate by Zoom to provide public comment on committee hearings. During the 2021 Legislative Session, the House of Representatives is focused on passing critical legislation while protecting the health and safety of the public, the staff, and the legislators.