Both Senate Bill 15, sponsored by Daniel Ivey-Soto (D-Bernalillo), and House Bill 211, sponsored by Representative Rebecca Dow (R- Grant, Hidalgo & Sierra) and Representative Natalie Figueroa (D-Bernalillo), were approved by members of the New Mexico House Judiciary Committee.
In a straw poll, the public attending the hearing had greater favorability of HB211 than SB15. HB211 will now head to the House Appropriations and Finance Committee.
An amended version of SB15 will head to the House Floor for deliberation. It has not been scheduled but could be heard as early as tomorrow. During the HJC Committee meeting, Representative Damon Ely offered amendments that were accepted and approved by the bill’s sponsor and committee. Amendments addressed greater inclusion when appointing members of the redistricting commission, clarification on the structure for public input, consideration of tribal boundaries, and various date adjustments. All of these items were consistent with recommendations from the New Mexico Redistricting Task Force.
Lawmakers did not, however, consider the full set of amendments to SB15 offered by reformers. Items not yet addressed in the legislation include prohibitions on incumbent protection and use of partisan data, allowing split precincts when needed to preserve communities of interest (an issue particularly affecting Navajo Nation), and accountability by lawmakers to document whether their amended maps adhere to redistricting criteria. Some of these items may be addressed through floor amendments.