SANTA FE – The New Mexico Senate today passed legislation to create a Citizen Redistricting Committee charged with proposing redistricting plans for the state’s voting districts. Senate Rules Committee substitute for Senate Bills 15 and 199 cleared the Senate with bipartisan, unanimous support on a 39-0 vote.

Senator Mark Moores (District 21-Bernalillo) released the following statement applauding the Senate action:

“The passage of this bill brings us one step closer to removing some of the partisan politics that plague the redistricting process. Prior redistricting efforts have resulted in costly litigation and heightened public scrutiny because of the current partisan method. An independent committee, free of politicians, is 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 co-sponsors and colleagues in the Senate for their support and urge the members of the House to quickly pass this legislation”

The Citizen Redistricting Committee would be 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.

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