HJR 1 & SJR 3 - Session Length,
Subjects, and Overrides
Representatives McQueen & Harper;
Senators Nibert, Moores, Tallman & McKenna
Why VMFC supports
HJR 1 & SJR 3
Co-equal sessions without subject constraints on legislation makes the legislature more efficient and effective. Important bills not heard or passed during odd-numbered years can now be brought back the next year, rather than waiting 2 years.
The ability to consider overriding an executive veto from the previous session each session improves the balance of power between the two branches of state government.
Any legislation that serves to modernize and make the New Mexico legislature more effective increases the opportunity to make changes favorable to veterans and military families in New Mexico.
HJR 1 and SJR 3 are duplicates. They provide an opportunity for voters in New Mexico to decide on making our legislature more effective. Each proposes to amend the constitution to change legislative sessions to 45 days in length for each year of a biennium, adds consideration of all subjects for legislation each year, provides for overrides for bills vetoed by the governor each year.
The proposed constitutional amendment:
- Makes each regular legislative session 45 days long, rather than the current 30-day session in even-numbered years and 60 days in odd-numbered years.
- The total length of the sessions over the biennium remains the same – 90 days.
- Removes the subject constraint of bills to be considered in even-numbered years. Subjects are not limited to budgetary, appropriations, or revenue bills nor will they be dependent on special messages of the governor.
- Allows legislators to consider for veto override bills of a previous regular, special, or extraordinary session within the same legislative biennium.
These changes would level the workload over the biennium, allow legislators to continue working on important bills each year until passed without constraints on subject, and override executive vetoes each year on bills that the legislature considered important.