Friday, January 21, 2022

Play

Despite a failed attempt in the U.S. Senate, more than 200 business owners call for federal reforms to strengthen election laws, and the U.S. Supreme Court deals another blow to abortion providers.

Play

President Biden gets cheers and jeers as he marks his first year in the White House, the Jan. 6 committee wants to hear from Ivanka Trump, and the Supreme Court rejects another challenge to the Texas abortion law.

Play

Expanded broadband akin to electrification in rural America 80 years ago; small Wyoming grocery store survives monopolization; revitalized Kansas town gets national recognition; and Montana's Native communities look for voter suppression work-arounds.

NM Legislature Set to Meet on Redistricting Maps

Play

Tuesday, November 30, 2021   

SANTA FE, N.M. -- The New Mexico Legislature will consider three possible redistricting maps for the House and Senate when it meets for a special session next week.

The Citizen Redistricting Committee was appointed earlier this year with the goal of limiting political influence and to avoid gerrymandering.

Hector Balderas, Jr., New Mexico Attorney General, a Democrat, said the state has attempted to improve the redistricting process and increase voter participation.

"There was considerable pressure to make this process more citizen-centric." Balderas explained. "And really committed to trying to get into some of our more disenfranchised communities and really seek their input and their guidance."

In both Houses of the current Legislature, Democrats outnumber Republicans, who argued the proposed maps would pit many more incumbent Republicans than Democrats against each other in future elections. Lawmakers return to the Roundhouse next Monday for the special redistricting session.

The previous redistricting effort ended up in the courts, costing taxpayers millions in litigation before new maps were finally decided. Balderas is cautiously optimistic it won't happen this year.

"Of course we have to be skeptical," Balderas acknowledged. "But we did focus on Native American participation and Hispanic rural population participation as well, so I'm hoping this doesn't end up in the courts."

Balderas pointed out not all residents of a community express their opinions through formal political parties, which can make them distrustful and somewhat skeptical their vote will count, or matter.

"I think that we not only need to make sure they're included, but that we need to recognize some systemic failures of the past," Balderas contended.

The New Mexico League of Women Voters has appealed to lawmakers for a detailed public explanation, should they amend any of the maps recommended by the Citizen Redistricting Committee.

Disclosure: Fair Representation in Redistricting contributes to our fund for reporting on Civic Engagement. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
The Brandon Road Lock and Dam Project would use electric barriers, bubble screens and noisemakers, all to help prevent the spread of invasive carp into the Great Lakes. (Rock Island District)

Environment

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to use federal funds for a project to help keep invasive carp out of the Great Lakes. It is proposing using …


Social Issues

Healthcare workers at an Oregon hospital have achieved what they say is a "win" after several strikes in recent months. Nearly 300 workers and …

Environment

As Pennsylvania continues to grow its solar-energy capacity, a new report found the roofs of big-box stores present a big opportunity to increase …


Over the course of the pandemic, North Dakota has received more than $350 million in federal aid to help struggling renters, but says it has sent back roughly 40% of that money unspent. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

North Dakota has returned a significant portion of the rental assistance provided by the federal government in the pandemic, but groups working …

Social Issues

Nearly 1,200 Hoosiers are about to have some of their student-loan debt forgiven, as part of a multistate settlement with the student-loan-servicing …

The organizations that are part of the National League of Cities grant say they hope to engage with 200 to 300 young people in Bridgeport during the 18-month initiative. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Bridgeport is one of six U.S. cities selected for an 18-month project kicking off this month, to create more education and career opportunities for …

Social Issues

By Frank Hopper for Yes! Media.Broadcast version by Eric Tegethoff for Washington News Service reporting for the YES! Media/Public News Service …

Social Issues

During Wednesday's State of the State address, Gov. Mike Parson discussed his priorities for Missouri in the next year, including the supplemental …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021