FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 20, 2021
Contact: Joaquin Romero
Legislature Passes Redistricting Committee Legislation with Bipartisan Support
SANTA FE – The New Mexico Legislature has approved a bill creating a Citizen Redistricting Committee charged with proposing redistricting plans for the state’s voting districts. The Senate Rules Committee Substitute for Senate Bills 15 and 199 was incorporated into Senate Bill 304 and the measure cleared the legislature on the final day of the Session.
Senator Mark Moores (District 21-Bernalillo), the sponsor of Senate Bill 199, released the following statement applauding the legislative action:
“The passage of this bill may be one of the most important things we did as a Legislature this Session. The redistricting process is too often plagued by partisan politics and previous redistricting efforts have led to costly litigation and heightened public scrutiny.”
“The Citizen Redistricting Committee created by this legislation will be free of politicians and the members will be much better suited to develop redistricting plans that preserve communities of interest and reflect the political and geographic boundaries of our state.”
“I thank my colleagues for their support and I urge the Governor to sign the bill.”
The Citizen Redistricting Committee is comprised of seven members. The majority and minority leadership in the Senate and House would appoint four of the members, and the State Ethics Commission would appoint two members who cannot not be members of the Republican or Democratic parties. The Committee would be chaired by a retired justice of the New Mexico Supreme Court or a retired judge of the New Mexico Court of Appeals.
The Committee is required to adopt three to five district plans for New Mexico’s congressional districts, the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the Public Education Commission. After adopting the plans, the Committee will deliver its plans to the Legislature, and the Legislature may select one district plan from each set to send to the Governor for approval.