ALA NM Girls State is a weeklong experience, which lasts a lifetime. Sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary, this program teaches you the rights and responsibilities of American citizenship through a program of participation. At ALA NM Girls State you will become an active member of a mythical city, county, and political party. As such, you will vote in elections for City and State, in which you may run for office, and you will actively participate in the government of your City, County, State, and party. In a week’s time, you will see most of the responsibilities of these offices executed.
Every ALA NM Girls State Citizen will have the opportunity to run for any office she wishes by simply filing a petition for candidacy. This provides each citizen the opportunity to run for the office she feels most qualified to fill and most interested in executing. For this reason these pages explaining the duties of each office are extremely important to you because you may determine the office you wish to run for before ALA NM Girls State begins. Bear in mind that you may run for a City and State office. It may be best to select two or three offices you’re interested in so that you can react objectively to the competition for these particular offices.
ALA NM Girls State begins with city government in action. By the first night City Officials will be elected and the first city meeting will be held the next day. By the second day State Primary Elections will be under way with an opportunity for candidates to present speeches. This week is a fast paced glimpse of the elective process but we hope that this opportunity will give you a better insight on how the city, county and state government works in New Mexico.
By Thursday the State Officials will be elected, ALA NM Girls State will then begin the important work of government in action on all levels. Everyone may participate either as an elected or as an appointed Official. The enthusiasm you put in will determine how much you will get out of ALA NM Girls State. No ALA NM Girls State Citizen ever loses more than one election if she keeps up her enthusiasm and participates fully in all activities.
Acquaint yourself with the jobs of each of the Officials listed, and come to ALA NM Girls State prepared to participate completely.
City Government - Elected Officials
MAYOR – The Mayor is the Chief Executive Officer of the City Government at ALA NM Girls State. She presides over all meetings of the City Council, and may vote only in case of a tie. She supervises the work of appointed officers and prepares the agenda of business for the council. She is responsible for the performance of city functions, such as formulation of the city seal, cheers, flag, song and For God & Country presentation. She represents her city at the Mayors' Conference. The Mayor, like all City Officials, has the special function of encouraging city unity and enthusiasm and promoting happiness in her city. She supervises that all city reports are completed during the week and that the full city packet is returned to the Government Counselor.
CITY COUNCILWOMEN (4) – The Councilwomen form the legislative body of City Government. They enact ordinances and adopt resolutions, which may be presented by any citizen. The Councilwomen examine and approve the budget of the City Treasurer and make City Appointments.
CITY CLERK – The City Clerk holds and keeps the official record of the City. She attends all meetings of the Council and keeps the minutes. She issues all municipal licenses and receives all petitions addressed to the Council. Her minute’s book must be completed and turned into the Government Counselor before leaving ALA NM Girls State.
CITY TREASURER – The treasurer is the custodian of municipal property and monies. She supervises all purchases and management of fund, disburses and receives monies, and maintains financial records. Since no money is actually collected or disbursed at ALA NM Girls State, the Treasurer’s biggest responsibility is preparing the budget for presentation to the City Council. A copy should be presented to the City Clerk.
MUNICIPAL JUDGE – The Municipal Judge presides over the Municipal Court. This court’s jurisdiction is over offenses and complaints arising under ordinances of each City or Town. Breaches of the peace, disorderly conduct, and traffic violations are the principal offenses tried in this court. Complaints against persons in this court will ordinarily be issued by and in the name of the City as plaintiff, and the action will be prosecuted in the court without a jury. Due to time constraints a municipal court trial will not normally be held. This will be upon each city government counselor's discretion.
City Government - Appointed Positions
CITY ATTORNEY – This Official represents the City as plaintiff in Municipal courts. Due to time constraints a municipal court trial will not normally be held. This will be upon each city government counselor's discretion.
FIRE CHIEF – This Official is responsible for the management and supervision of the Fire Department. She enforces the City’s fire and safety laws. At ALA NM Girls State she should be certain the City observes the smoking rules and knows drill procedures. She will also create a fire evacuation plan for both city room and dorms.
POLICE CHIEF – This Official is responsible for law enforcement, organization and supervision of the police force, management of the municipal jail, holding violators of ordinances or presenting them for trial, and recommending police measures to the Council. Since all ALA NM Girls State rules are automatically accepted as City ordinances, the Police Chief and Police Officers enforce these rules and other City ordinances. They may wish to establish traffic regulations on the City floor. This official also maintains order in meetings of the City Council, Municipal courts and evening gatherings.
CITY REPORTER – Writes and submits daily articles about experience at ALANMGS. She represents the local news gathering the current events that are occurring in the city and reporting them out to the community.
HEALTH AND RECREATION OFFICER – The City’s water supply, public health, hospitals and medical facilities, park and recreation areas are under the control of this Officer. At ALA NM Girls State this Official will report illness to the nurse and will work with the city counselor on nightly reflection and City recreation. She may even sponsor an exercise program.
STATE SENATORS (14) – The Senators form the smaller of the two legislative bodies of the State. As County-Party Representatives their allegiance is to their voter constituents, but the better welfare of the whole State lies in their hands. At ALA NM Girls State they will debate and enact the legislation of the session in coordination with the House of Representatives. Each County elects 7 Senators. All participants of ALA NM Girls State will become honorary State Senators and Representatives for the morning Government activities, learning about the process of passing legislation. In the afternoon county and state elected officials will report to their other duties and the elected Senators and Representatives will continue the work of passing legislation during session.
STATE REPRESENTATIVES (24) – The members of the House of Representatives form the larger of the two legislative bodies of the State. As County-Party Representatives their allegiance is to their voter constituents, but the better welfare of the whole State lies in their hands. At ALA NM Girls State they will debate and enact the legislation of the session in coordination with the Senate. Each County elects 12 Representatives. All participants of ALA NM Girls State will become honorary State Senators and Representatives for the morning Government activities, learning about the process of passing legislation. In the afternoon county and state elected officials will report to their other duties and the elected Senators and Representatives will continue the work of passing legislation during session.
Elected (from the floor) and
Appointed Positions in the Senate and House
During ALA NM Girls State all delegates (attendees to ALANMGS) will become honorary State Senators and Representatives for the morning Government activities, learning about the process of passing legislation. In the afternoon county and state elected officials will report to their duties and the elected Senators and Representatives will continue the work of passing legislation during session. Those individuals that were not elected to a county or state office will be appointed a position in the Senate, House or Courts. Everyone at ALA NM Girls State will be required to take on an elected or appointed position during Government activities. More details will be provided during session on the appointed position process.
PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE (Senate) – Elected by vote of the Senate members, from the majority party, the President Pro Tempore will preside as acting president of the Senate should the Senate President (Lt. Governor) be unavailable to preside over Senate proceedings.
SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE – Elected by the majority party of the House, from the members of the majority party of the House, the Speaker shall preside over the House of Representatives.
CHAPLAIN – Each Legislative session is opened and closed with prayer by the Chaplain. The Chaplains will also be asked to give a prayer at the inaugural banquet.
CHIEF CLERK – The Chief Clerk shall be the official custodian of all bills, documents, papers, writings, and all other records of the Senate or House. She shall supervise the work of the Assistant Clerks. At every session, the Chief Clerk calls the roll and makes a record of the Senators and Representatives present, absent, or excused as provided by the rules. The Chief Clerk oversees the reading of all bills, amendments and resolutions and all papers ordered to be read by the Senate or House, or by the presiding officers thereof. With her assistants, the Chief Clerk keeps a correct journal of the proceedings of the Senate or House. Titles and numbers of bills and their disposition are carefully recorded and kept up to date. The Chief Clerk superintends all matters originating in their session (Senate/House), and the Chief Clerk notifies the corresponding body (Senate/House) of the action of their session on all matters originating from the corresponding body.
ASSISTANT CLERKS (2) – The Assistant Clerks assist the Chief Clerk in keeping accurate records of the bills by title and number and keep track of each bill’s particular disposition. They will also assist with reading any bill, amendment, or resolution of the House or Senate. Assistant Clerks will be in charge of making any edits to proposed legislation files for the Senate/House and ensuring approved legislation files are ready for review by the Governor.
SERGEANT-AT-ARMS – This Official aids in enforcing order on the floor of the Senate or House, in lobbies and galleries, and in the room adjoining the Legislature, and she also sees that no person remains on the floor unless entitled to the privileges of the Senate or House. Whenever a message from the Governor or the other Legislative body arrives, it shall be the duty of the Sergeant-At-Arms to receive it, and announce its presence to the presiding officer.
PAGES (2) – Each Legislative body has two pages to assist the Senators or Representatives in the exchange of notes or other materials. Pages are summoned by a slightly raised hand. The Pages are also responsible for taking messages to the other Legislative body.
State Government - Elected Officials
GOVERNOR – The Governor is the Chief Executive Officer of the State. At ALA NM Girls State the Governor makes honorary state board and committee appointments, gives an Inaugural Address at the banquet, visits the legislative sessions, signs or vetoes passed legislation into law, and closes the session of ALA NM Girls State. The Governor represents ALA NM Girls State all year, at the American Legion Auxiliary State Convention (dates to be provided), and may be asked to speak at unit meetings during the year. She will also be required to return to ALA NM Girls State the following year as a Junior Counselor to guide future Governors (dates to be provided).
LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR – In case of death, impeachment, resignation, removal or other disability of the Governor, the powers and duties of the office shall be upon the Lt. Governor. The Lt. Governor shall be the President of the Senate, but shall vote only when the Senate is equally divided. At ALA NM Girls State the Lt. Governor will give an Inaugural Address at the banquet. She will also be required to return to ALA NM Girls State the following year as a Junior Counselor to guide future Lt. Governors (dates to be provided) and may be asked to attend the American Legion Auxiliary State Convention (dates to be provided).
SECRETARY OF STATE – Each special and regular session of the ALA NM Girls State House of Representatives must be opened by the Secretary of State where she presides unless other duties call her away. Laws passed and signed are compiled by the Secretary of State and sealed by her.
STATE AUDITOR – The primary function of the office is to see that the accounts of all the monies – County and State are correct and to inquire if there is an inconsistent figure. All State Officials and departments submit their vouchers to the State Auditor for payment. As a member of the State Board of Finance, the State Auditor is in joint custody, with the State Treasurer, of all the securities and funds of the State.
STATE TREASURER – All monies collected by the State Agencies are deposited with the State Treasurer. The State Auditor draws such funds only on warrants.
ATTORNEY GENERAL – This Official is the head of the Department of Justice. She handles numerous cases in the District Courts, the State’s Supreme Courts and Federal Courts, and writes many opinions and advisory letters to State, County, and Department Officials. She examines and approves all bond transcripts of school districts, as well as building and improvement bonds, highway debentures, refunding bonds, sewer bonds, and courthouse and jail bonds.
JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT (5) – The Supreme Court is the last resort, the highest court in the State, and all other courts are inferior to it. The Justices have equal power in deciding cases before the court and in making court rules. A majority (three) of the judges constitutes a quorum and can render a decision.