Prisoner-adjusted Senate/Assembly districts (UPDATED)
Capitol Confidential wrote about the Assemly's study on counting prisoners. This data will help clear the air around the redistricting process.
I have an article in today’s paper about Assembly Democrats releasing new population figures for state legislative districts, showing which ones increased and decreased when inmates (per a 2010 law) are counted at their last known address — not in their jail cells.
As we all expected, the biggest losers are rural, upstate Republicans. Only one Senate Democrat — Suzi Oppenheimer of Westchester County — had a significant population loss as a result of the recounting. As Ken Lovett noted today, districts in New York City pick up the gains.
This has political implications: counting prisoners away from their cells will further concentrate power in traditionally Democratic areas, at the expense of traditionally Republican ones. This is particularly important as new lines are drawn for the Senate, currently divided 32-26-4.
UPDATE: Here’s a statement from the Senate Democrats’ spokesman Mike Murphy, who have been making a stink about redistricting for months.
“The people of this state deserve independent and fair redistricting. There has been a cloud over this process for too long and this data will help us begin to clear the air. LATFOR has finally made it clear that it will follow the law and now the Assembly has produced a credible and objective prisoner count. It is time for the Senate Republicans to honor their word and comply with the law. Any further delay is a continued assault on democracy and fair play.”
Read the full article here.