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Not-so-special session 2011

Every 10 years, politicians gather at the Roundhouse to redraw the boundaries of their districts. It’s a painful process. Districts go from red to blue or vice versa. Politicians lose their seats.

They’ve got to do it so certain districts don’t contain way more people than others, and regions are fairly represented.

A decade ago, lawmakers couldn’t work it out on their their own, so it ended up in court. And once again, that’s where they’re heading—at taxpayers’ expense. Last time, it cost the state $3.5 million to sort it out.

Also, each day of the special session costs about $50,000 per day. This one took 19 days. The Legislature didn’t manage to pass a district revamp for New Mexico’s three congressional seats.

Senator and Alibi columnist Ortiz y Pino told us in this edition that we’d know things were going well if Rio Rancho and Albuquerque’s Westside picked up some seats. They did. See the redistricting maps for yourself. Two new Senate seats went to Rio Rancho and one to the Southwest mesa. Two House seats were added to Rio Rancho and one on the Westside.