It is true that our state legislators do not get paid. And the reimbursement for $145 does not cover the expense of being in Santa Fe. When the legislature is in session, there is no way for them to go home and get back. Imagine a hotel room for $145 plus food. It requires money out-of-pocket to be a state legislator.
All politics are local. Every politician comes from the local political scene. The reason New Mexico is one of--if not the most--corrupt State is because the local politics are extremely corrupt, and there's no way to deal with it. When I ran into extreme local corruption, I found there was no way to handle it. I was told to contact the police. Uhhh...corrupt. Bring it to the local DA. Uhhh...corrupt. And we're not talking about necessarily "bad" people. The problem is small town corruption. And it appears to be "accepted." So, by the time a politican makes it to the State or National level, corruption is "standard operating procedure." Take care of your home town corruption, and the rest will weed itself out.