HJR 01 Redistricting – JOINT RESOLUTION PROPOSING TO AMEND THE CONSTITUTION OF NEW MEXICO TO PROVIDE FOR THE CREATION OF AN INDEPENDENT REDISTRICTING COMMISSION TO DEVELOP REDISTRICTING PLANS FOR CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS, STATE LEGISLATIVE DISTRICTS AND THE DISTRICTS OF OTHER DISTRICTED STATE OFFICES.
AAUW is part of Fair Districts for New Mexico (FDNM) and Robbie Richards, AAUW-SF Public Policy Co-chair, is our representative. During the upcoming legislative session, FDNM will try again to get a resolution passed allowing NM voters to pass a Constitutional amendment (CA), creating an Independent Restricting Commission (IRC). An IRC would remove the inherent conflict of interest when legislators can draw their own districts.
In the past, legislators were adamant about not relinquishing their Constitutional authority to draw district lines. However, the legislative session that begins on January 17, 2023, has leadership changes in the Senate Rules Committee and House Speakership. These changes are key and could mean times are changing.
In September 2022, FDNM released poll findings showing 77% of NM voters favored an IRC, with only 12% opposed. This indicates that a CA would likely pass if one gets on the ballot.
Representative Natalie Figueroa (District 30, Bernalillo County) plans to file a House Joint Resolution (HJR) for a CA, which would put the question of creating an IRC on the 2024 ballot. If the legislature passes the HJR, NM voters, with a simple majority, will have the chance to assign responsibility for redistricting to an IRC. We would join nine other states in creating a non—politician commission.
Ruth Jaure, Las Cruces Public Policy Chair