Last updated 7:46PM ET
December 17, 2014
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The special session of state lawmakers convenes today at the Roundhouse in Santa Fe.
(2011-09-06)
(KSFR) - New Mexico's lawmakers are gathering in Santa Fe today to begin the process of redrawing political boundaries. The governor called the special session because federal law mandates that shifts in population be taken into account every ten years, following the census. For Santa Fe voters, legislators will have to consider that Rep. Lucky Varela's district has gone through a shrinkage of about 18 percent, while districts represented by Representatives Jim Trujillo and Brian Egolf have shrunk less. In the state senate, Peter Wirth's district has fewer people than 10 years ago and Nancy Rodriguez' district has grown slightly. All of the lawmakers from Santa Fe are Democrats.

A decade ago, redistricting was the only item on the agenda, and it took 17 days to accomplish. This year, Gov. Martinez has added a host of other issues to be considered. Among them are drivers licenses for foreign nationals and social promotion for third grade students who fail their studies.

Tangential to the Governor's push to repeal state law giving licenses to foreign nationals, immigrant rights advocates, Somos Un Pueblo Unido, will make a display of opposition with a noontime rally at the state capitol. The Immigrant Day of Accion is sponsored in part by the New Mexico Conference of Catholic Bishops.

New Mexicans have until the middle of this month to submit their comments to the state environment department on a proposal from the Los Alamos national lab to conduct detonations of old, waste materials. The lab is seeking a permanent permit but is being allowed in the meantime to conduct explosions on an interim basis. Watchdog groups say they're concerned about air borne pollutants but lab officials say the waste left over from experiments is not hazardous. They say it's quicker to have explosives turn it into dust than to truck it away. They're allowed to detonate about 60 pounds of waste at a time, 30 times a year.

Much activity in Santa Fe this week as after the special session convenes today, crowds will be gathering for events that comprise the annual Fiestas de Santa Fe. Thursday night could bring upward of 25,000 people to Fort Marcy Park for the burning of Zozobra. That's followed by 3 days of events to commemorate the reconquest of Santa Fe in 1692 by Spanish colonists led by General Don Diego De Vargas. There'll be a re-enactment of that on Friday at the Plaza--the 299th such pageant since Fiestas' establishment back in 1712.

Tomorrow, Governor Martinez will preside at a Plaza presentation of the US Postal Service's commemorative stamp honoring New Mexico's one hundred years of statehood. On hand will be the New Mexico artist who created the design. The 11AM ceremony will also reveal the date on which the new stamp will be released. New Mexico became the 47th state in the Union back on January 6th, 1912.

Weather for Santa Fe - a cooler week in store with daily chances for rain between 30-and-40% each day says Ken Widelski with the national Weather Service Office in Albuquerque. Highs today in the upper 70s will be falling to just the upper 60s by Friday.
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