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TThe start: The 2013 Legislature convenes at noon Tuesday
The finish: The session, as required by the state Constitution, adjourns after 60 calendar days — at noon Saturday, March 16.
The governor has three days to sign or veto legislation during most of the session. But the governor has 20 days after adjournment, or April 5, to act on bills passed during the last three days of the session.
The makeup: The House has 70 members: 38 Democrats and 32 Republicans. The Senate has 42 members: 25 Democrats and 17 Republicans.
Pay: The New Mexico Legislature is not salaried. Members receive $154 a day during the session to reimburse them for expenses.
The agenda: Approving a budget to finance schools and government programs is a must-do assignment. The state expects to have about $283 million available for spending increases and to offset tax cuts.
Lawmakers are also expected to debate economic development incentives such as business tax cuts, public employee pension changes, the governor’s plan to stop issuing driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, and school improvement proposals to help students struggling to read in early grades.
There were 1,203 bills introduced in 2011, the most recent 60-day session.
Nearly a fourth of those bills, or 284, passed the Legislature. The governor signed 186 measures into law and vetoed 98.
Politics: This is Republican Gov. Susana Martinez’s third year in office, and she faces re-election in 2014 along with House members.
The Legislature has gone through the biggest turnover since 1985 because of retirements and last year’s elections. Nearly a third of the members will be new to their posts. Senators don’t have to run for election until 2016.
Learning more: Contact lawmakers by calling the legislative switchboard at 986-4300.
Find bills, committee schedules, lists of members and a link for webcasts of House and Senate floor proceedings at tnmlegis.gov/lcs/.