SANTA FE – A New Mexico state representative has resigned from the Legislature, citing financial burdens caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Democratic Rep. Linda Trujillo submitted her resignation Thursday to the secretary of state’s office after having won election to the House in 2016.
“The virus has impacted every aspect of our lives, including finances,” she said. “And we’re not alone. My neighbors are hurting. I have family members who are having a very difficult time making ends meet.”
Trujillo has been working as an attorney for the Walsh Gallegos law firm in Albuquerque but had to cut back her hours by 25% because of her commitment to the Legislature, she said, adding that her husband was furloughed by the city of Santa Fe because of pandemic-related budget issues.
New Mexico is the only state where legislators don’t draw a salary, although they are usually paid thousands of dollars a year in per diem and reimbursements. They are also offered a pension.
Trujillo was set to be unopposed in the fall election, the Albuquerque Journal reported.
The Santa Fe County Commission will appoint Trujillo’s immediate successor, and a Democratic Party committee will choose a nominee to replace her on the ballot.
“There is still so much I wanted to accomplish for the people of House District 48 and the State of New Mexico,” she said.
During her tenure, Trujillo successfully co-sponsored legislation to establish a new early childhood department, make settlement records public immediately rather than after a six-month wait and revise election procedures.
Trujillo also served as vice chairwoman of the House Education Committee and as a member of the Legislative Education Study Committee. She said it’s up to legislators to replace her on those committees, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.