Independent Redistricting Commission meets to redraw district lines

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ALBANY, NY – New York State’s ten-member “Independent Redistricting Commission” met virtually today.

They’re tasked with redrawing the state’s legislative and Congressional district lines.

NewsChannel 34’s Corina Cappabianca has more on what goes into that process.

Back in 2014 voters in New York approved a ballot proposal amending the state constitution to create an “Independent Redistricting Commission” to come up with the lines for Congressional, State Assembly and State Senate seats.

Those lines are determined every ten years following the Census count.

(Jennifer Wilson, League of Women Voters of New York State Deputy Director) “It’s not fully independent, because the majority of the commissioners are appointed by the legislature. But, it is separate and apart from the legislature in its functioning, and in its role in the redistricting process.”

The Commission is still in its early stages.

Much of today’s discussion was about leadership roles, by laws and public outreach.

No agreement on “chair” roles was reached today.

(Jennifer Wilson, League of Women Voters of New York State Deputy Director) “There’s already bipartisan, co-executive directors. It kind of makes sense to have bipartisan chairs, but it’s up to the commission. At the end of the day, this is our first go with this, they get to decide what they want to do.”

They did agree to begin putting together a website for public information.

Wilson says the maps they create will need to be available to the public in September and they will need to hold public hearings.

The deadline to have their final maps to the legislature to be voted on for approval is January 1st of 2022.

(Jennifer Wilson, League of Women Voters of New York State Deputy Director) “So in between that, that timeline, this basic whole year is going to be them, looking at the census counts, working with local community groups and individuals and figuring out what these new maps are going to look like.”

Today the Commission did agree to try to have a website live and open for public input by mid-January.

In Albany, Corina Cappabianca.

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