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The Special Session: Thoughts from the House

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The special session of the New Mexico State Legislature started on Sept. 6.  
The session was prompted by a proclamation from Gov. Susana Martinez calling the legislature into session to address the decennial requirement of redistricting, and nine other items ranging from Driver’s Licenses for non-citizens to budgetary issues.  
On redistricting, the population of the state has grown and become more urban.  The resulting challenges are to create seventy House districts, each with a population of 29,400 people (+/- 5 percent) and reflecting the growth in urban population.   
The session began with a certain amount of acrimony, as both House and Senate Democratic leadership had requested Sept. 12 as a starting date, and had recommended that most, if not all, of the governor’s additional items should be addressed in the next regular session.  
The first part of the session has focused exclusively on redistricting.  
There had been considerable preparation before the session started.  
An outside consulting team developed eight different redistricting options and then an interim redistricting committee held hearings all over the state to consider the local impact of different options.


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