New York redistricting commission cedes drawing power to state Legislature

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS
·1 min read

ALBANY — The bipartisan state commission tasked with redrawing legislative and congressional lines called it quits Monday without submitting any new maps to lawmakers.

Members of the deadlocked New York State Independent Redistricting Commission, meant to take the politics out of the process, pointed fingers across the aisle as they admitted defeat.

“We have negotiated with our Republican colleagues in good faith for two years to achieve a single consensus plan. At every step, they have refused to agree to a compromise,” the Democratic members said in a statement.

The stalemate came weeks after the 10-member commission voted to send a pair of competing maps, one drawn up by Republicans and one by Democrats, to the Legislature as each side blamed the other for the partisan bickering.

Lawmakers rejected both sets of maps, giving the commission until Tuesday to reach a compromise.

The Democratic commissioners, however, accused Republicans on the panel of “running out the clock to prevent the Commission from voting on second maps by its deadline.”

The five Republican members likewise charged their counterparts with intentionally stalling the process.

“The Democrat appointed commissioners have no incentive to work cooperatively toward a consensus plan and, in fact, they purposely scuttled the process so that the determination of district lines would be tossed back to a legislature controlled by democrat super-majorities,” the group said.

The deadlock gives Democrats the upper hand as the Assembly and Senate will now oversee the creation of new congressional and state legislative district boundaries that will be in place for the next decade.

Democrats hold a supermajority in both state legislative chambers and hold 19 of the state’s 27 current congressional seats. Based on the 2020 Census, New York will only have 26 congressional seats going forward.

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