Congressional maps got the most public input, CRC member says

By: - December 6, 2021 6:41 pm

The state Senate on Monday, Dec. 6, 2021 at the Roundhouse in Santa Fe. (Photo by Austin Fisher / Source NM)

New Mexico’s Citizen Redistricting Committee on Monday walked a New Mexico Senate panel through a series of proposals to reshape the state’s political future for the next decade.

On the first day of the Legislature’s special session, the committee showed the three congressional maps they adopted, along with three state Senate maps, to the Senate Rules Committee.

More than 2,000 people submitted comments on the maps to the CRC, chair Edward Chávez said. The panel held many meetings across the state, including some meetings on tribal lands, to collect public input on the maps, he said.

Chavez said they received the most public comment on the congressional maps, but very little public comment on the New Mexico Senate maps.

They did not discuss the proposals for the House of Representatives nor the Public Education Commission. The House will hear from the CRC about those maps on Tuesday, said House Speaker Brian Egolf, D-Santa Fe.

This is the first time ever that independently drawn district maps have been submitted to the Legislature, said Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto, D-Albuquerque. Ten years ago, the Legislature did not adopt any maps, and so the courts had to sort it out, he said.

The Senate will begin the process of actually debating the maps on Tuesday, said Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth, D-Santa Fe, after it agrees on rules for conducting the special session. The Senate will consider congressional maps first, then its own district maps, Wirth said.

The House will begin debate over spending from the American Rescue Plan Act passed by the federal Congress, Wirth said. He outlined the process for the stimulus money in the coming days: both the Senate and House will work their spending bills through their respective committees, and then cross them over to the other chamber.

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Austin Fisher
Austin Fisher

Austin Fisher is a journalist based in Santa Fe. He has worked for newspapers in New Mexico and his home state of Kansas, including the Topeka Capital-Journal, the Garden City Telegram, the Rio Grande SUN and the Santa Fe Reporter. Since starting a full-time career in reporting in 2015, he’s aimed to use journalism to lift up voices that typically go unheard in public debates around economic inequality, policing and environmental racism.