Democrat House leaders move to dissolve land grant panel

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Top Democrats in the New Mexico House have chosen to dissolve a legislative committee that deals with Hispanic land grants, traditional irrigation districts known as acequias and other local government and cultural affairs.

The recent decision announced by House Speaker Brian Egolf is spurring criticism from Hispanic lawmakers, including two members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation.

U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Luján said the representation of land grants, acequias and rural communities must always be at the forefront of New Mexico public policy. He described those constituents as “a critical part of the heart, soul and history of our state.”