- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 21, 2015

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - The New Mexico House of Representatives has unanimously approved the first bill of the 2015 session.

Legislators passed the piece of legislation that funds the 60-day session on Wednesday. It is known as a “feed bill.”

A committee approved the measure Tuesday to provide nearly $9.4 million for session costs, including salaries for staff and expenses for legislators.

Last year, legislators approved a $5.4 million measure but the session was only 30 days.

House Majority Leader Nate Gentry, R-Albuquerque, said there was an increase in costs this year because of a spike in temporary employees who claim unemployment when the session ends.

Gentry was granted an exemption to a House rule that requires bills be voted on a day after they are introduced on the floor. It will now go to the Senate.

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