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Reforming Redistricting in NM, Alcohol Legislation & Our Land: What’s in a Name?

This week on New Mexico in Focus…

Now that the 2020 U.S. Census count is complete, one of the next steps for New Mexico is redrawing congressional and legislative districts. Redistricting is often a political process decided under a veil of secrecy. But this year, lawmakers are debating a bill that would create a new commission to depoliticize the process and restore transparency. Correspondent Gwyneth Doland talks to members of the New Mexico First task force that recommended the commission as part of their work last year to reform the process.

The Line opinion panel will also discuss the redistricting commission proposal and its potential for passage during the 2021 legislative session. The panelists take a closer look at several bills that would change New Mexico’s liquor rules and regulations. One such proposal would allow for the delivery of some pre-packaged liquor, in an effort to help bars and restaurants maintain income during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. But, given New Mexico’s troubled history with alcohol and high-profile drunk driving cases, is this really a good idea? Lastly, the panelists will delve into one lawmaker’s decision to leave his party over a vote on another high-profile bill, which would keep abortions in New Mexico from being illegal, even if the U.S. Supreme Court were to overturn Roe v. Wade.

This week also marks the return of “Our Land” New Mexico’s only broadcast series dedicated to covering environmental issues in our state. Correspondent Laura Paskus explores the power of what we name places in New Mexico, and talks with U.S. Representative Deb Halland (D) –

President Biden’s pick to lead the Department of the Interior – about legislation she is proposing that hopes to make those names more culturally sensitive and inclusive.

Host: Gene Grant

Line Panelists:
Laura Sanchez, attorney
Merritt Allen, Vox Optima Inez
Russell Gomez, editorial page editor, Santa Fe New Mexican

Redistricting Legislation
Correspondent: Gwyneth Doland
Guests: Edward Chávez, NM First redistricting task force co-chair, NM Supreme Court (retired)
Cedric Page, NM First redistricting task force member

Our Land: Place Names
Correspondent: Laura Paskus
Guest: Deb Haaland, U.S. House of Representatives (NM-CD1)
Theresa Pasqual, archaeologist and former director of historic preservation, Pueblo of Acoma


This episode is part of our #YourNMGov project, in collaboration with KUNM radio and the Santa Fe Reporter. Support for public media (NMPBS and KUNM) provided by the Thornburg Foundation.