Regional
3:21 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Lawmakers Face Flood Of Constitutional Amendments

If some lawmakers have their way, New Mexico voters will be busy in the November general election deciding a host of policy questions ranging from legalizing marijuana to increasing the minimum wage.

A flurry of proposed constitutional amendments in the Legislature has Republican Gov. Susana Martinez and some lawmakers questioning whether the Constitution — a document defining fundamental law and rights — is being misused.

Constitutional amendments, unlike a bill to change statutory law, go straight to voters if approved by the Legislature. That provides a way to bypass the governor and a potential veto.

Senate President Mary Kay Papen, a Las Cruces Democrat, says she doesn't want lawmakers to make it a habit of using constitutional amendments to push proposals they don't think the governor would sign.

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