New Mexico was the 47th state to enter the union and consequently has had a relatively short history with respect to the amendment process, one which began in 1911, almost two months before official statehood. Since that date, the voters have considered 282 proposed piecemeal amendments and one entire revision of the 1910 constitution. They have altered that document 153 times, all by the piecemeal amendment process. The legislature has been willing to propose amendments to the people, and voters have been willing to look favorably upon them. At the same time, proposals for a new constitutional convention have been looked upon by the legislature with a general lack of enthusiasm that is matched by a demonstrable lack of concern by the voter. Conventions are costly, uncertain creatures.
Perhaps the 1996 change, authorizing a constitutional commission to recommend revision of entire articles by a single amendment, offers an intermediate solution. For the foreseeable future, however, constitutional change will remain the province of piecemeal amendment.- 25 -