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Rule against logrolling separates N.M. Legislature from Congress

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By Merilee Dannemann

I checked my New Mexico Constitution the other day, and the provision is right there where I left it: Article IV, Section 16, “Subject of bill in title; appropriation bills.”
“The subject of every bill shall be clearly expressed in its title, and no bill embracing more than one subject shall be passed except general appropriation bills and bills for the codification or revision of the laws; but if any subject is embraced in any act which is not expressed in its title, only so much of the act as is not so expressed shall be void....”
This is called the single-subject provision. I wrote about it a couple of years ago, pointing out how nasty it is when Congress violates this principle and what a relief it is that New Mexico, along with 41 other states, has a single-subject requirement.
Congress regularly sticks multiple unrelated subjects into the same bill, so members have to vote for the part they disagree with in order to support the part they agree with. How many bills have come out of the U.S. House of Representatives that include something about undoing the Affordable Care Act, for example?  
The House of Representatives was barely able to pass a bill funding the Homeland Security Department for more than a week because some members insisted on holding the funding hostage to extraneous provisions.


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