senate Bill S6698

2011-2012 Legislative Session

Creates the independent redistricting commission to establish senate, assembly and congressional districts

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Archive: Last Bill Status Via A9526 - Passed Senate


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

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Actions

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Mar 15, 2012 delivered to secretary of state
Mar 14, 2012 returned to assembly
passed senate
3rd reading cal.364
substituted for s6698
Mar 14, 2012 substituted by a9526
ordered to third reading cal.364
Mar 11, 2012 to attorney-general for opinion
referred to rules

Votes

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Co-Sponsors

S6698 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A9526
Law Section:
Constitution, Concurrent Resolutions to Amend
Laws Affected:
Amd Art 3 §§4 & 5, add §5-b, Constn

S6698 - Bill Texts

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Creates the independent redistricting commission to establish senate, assembly and congressional districts.

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BILL NUMBER:S6698

TITLE OF BILL:
CONCURRENT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY proposing an amendment
to article 3 of the constitution, in relation to the establishment of
the independent redistricting commission

PURPOSE:
This resolution, when passed a second time in 2013 and if approved by
the voters of New York State, would amend the constitution to reform
comprehensively the process and substantive criteria used to establish
new state legislative and congressional district lines every ten years.
Among other reforms, the amendment would create an independent redis-
tricting commission to draw the legislative and congressional district
lines; require that new district lines be drawn in such manner as to
protect minority voting rights and communities of interest and affirma-
tively explain deviations from population equality for each district;
require extensive public hearings around the state and the commission's
release of all relevant data and draft plans to facilitate public review
and public drafting of proposed district lines; and establish voting
rules in both the commission and in each house of the legislature to
ensure that minority party conferences participate fully in the process
of drawing new lines.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 would amend sections 4 and 5 of article 3 of the constitution
to establish a new and exclusive process by which new state legislative
and congressional districts shall be drawn. A new independent redis-
tricting commission, selected pursuant to a new section 5-b of the same
article, shall submit to the legislature its proposed district plans,
and the legislature shall vote upon them without amendment. If the
legislature fails to pass such plans twice, it may amend such plans and
then vote upon them. Section I would further establish voting rules to
govern each house's vote upon the independent redistricting commission's
plans that would protect the minority conferences in each house and
ensure the integrity of the commission's plans by requiring approval by
more than a majority of members under certain circumstances. Section 1
would establish substantive principles to govern the drafting and
approval of any district plans. Among other principles that would be
followed in drawing such district lines, this section would require: (1)
the commission to consider whether proposed lines would deny or abridge
racial or language minority voting rights ; (2) no districts be drawn to
have the purpose of, or result in, such denial or abridgement; (3)
districts be drawn so that racial or language minority groups do not
have less opportunity to participate in the political process than other
members of the electorate and to elect representatives of their choice;
(4) districts not be drawn to discourage competition or for the purpose
of favoring or disfavoring incumbents or other particular candidates or
political parties; (5) the commission consider the maintenance of cores
of existing districts, of pre-existing political subdivisions, and of
communities of interest; (6) districts contain as nearly as may be an

equal number of inhabitants and any deviation in a district shall be
explained specifically by the commission; and (7) districts be contig-
uous and as compact in form as practicable.

Section 1 would require the commission to hold extensive public hearings
across the state in specified cities and counties, and to make its
drafts and relevant data widely available via the best available tech-
nology. Section I would amend the judicial review provision of this
article to establish a 60-day deadline for decisions in this area, to
establish that a court may find a district plan invalid in whole or in
part if it has been drawn in violation of this article, and to provide
that the court shall provide the legislature an opportunity to address
such legal infirmity in the first instance.

Section 1 would add a new section 5-b to establish the nature and struc-
ture of the independent redistricting commission. Specifically, the
commission would consist of ten members: two appointees by each of the
four legislative leaders and then two appointees selected by the majori-
ty of those eight members such that least one appointee made by either
of the Assembly or Senate minority leaders must approve those two
members. Neither of those two members may have been enrolled members of
either of the two major political parties in New York State in the last
five years. The amendment further requires that the appointing authori-
ties shall consult with organizations devoted to protecting the voting
rights of minority and other voters concerning their appointments. The
commission members must be registered voters in New York State, but not
have been in the last three years (a) members of the state legislature
or congress or a statewide official or the spouse of any of these
elected officials, (b) a state officer or employee or legislative
employee; (c) a registered lobbyist; or (d) a political party chairman.

To approve a redistricting plan, the independent redistricting commis-
sion would need to obtain the vote of at least seven of its ten members
in support of the plan. In the event that the commission is unable to
obtain seven votes to approve a redistricting plan, the commission would
have to submit to the legislature that plan (or plans, if two or more
plans garnered an equal number of votes) that garnered the highest
number of votes in support of its approval. The independent redistrict-
ing commission would appoint two co-executive directors of the commis-
sion by approval of a majority of the members of the commission, and the
co-executive directors would appoint commission staff.

Section 2 provides that the foregoing amendments would be referred to
the first regular legislative session convening after the next succeed-
ing general election of members of the assembly and be published for
three months previous to that election.

EXISTING LAW:
The existing provisions governing redistricting are contained in article
three of the constitution.

JUSTIFICATION:

The proposed constitutional amendment would implement historic changes
to achieve a fair and readily transparent process by which to draw the
lines of state legislative and congressional districts. It will reform
that process to introduce greater independence, and guarantees the
application of substantive criteria that protect minority voting rights,
communities of interest, and rational line-drawing.

Adoption of this constitutional amendment will ensure that the drawing
of legislative district lines in New York will be done by a bipartisan,
independent body. By adopting a constitutional amendment the process
will be substantively and fundamentally changed for the future.

For the first time, both the majority and minority parties in the legis-
lature will have an equal role in the process of drawing lines. Members
of the commission charged with drawing the lines will have to meet
strict criteria to ensure that they are independent. The process for
adoption of the lines is explicitly laid out in the amendment to provide
transparency and predictability to the process.

Just as important, the enactment of the constitutional amendment will
give the voters of New York a voice in the adoption of this new process
and by enshrining it in the constitution, ensure that the process will
not be changed without due considerations. _The principle of fair and
open elections will be furthered by the adoption of this amendment. This
far-reaching reform will set the standard for independent redistricting
throughout the United States and provide a template for other states to
follow.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
New bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
This amendment is not expected to have a significant impact on the
State's budget.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
RESOLVED (if the Assembly concurs), that this amendment shall be passed
in 2012 and then shall be referred to the first regular legislative
session after the 2012 elections for second passage in 2013, after which
it will be voted upon by the people of New York State.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  6698

                            I N  S E N A T E

                             March 11, 2012
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  SKELOS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Rules

            CONCURRENT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY

proposing an amendment to article 3 of the constitution, in relation  to
  the establishment of the independent redistricting commission

  Section 1. Resolved (if the Assembly concur), That sections 4 and 5 of
article 3 of the constitution be amended, and a new section 5-b be added
to read as follows:
  S 4. (A) Except as herein otherwise provided, the federal census taken
in the year nineteen hundred thirty and each federal census taken decen-
nially  thereafter  shall be controlling as to the number of inhabitants
in the state or any part thereof for the purposes of  the  apportionment
of  members  of  assembly  and  readjustment or alteration of senate and
assembly districts next occurring, in so far  as  such  census  and  the
tabulation  thereof  purport to give the information necessary therefor.
The legislature, by law, shall provide for the making and tabulation  by
state  authorities  of  an  enumeration of the inhabitants of the entire
state to be used for such purposes, instead of a federal census, if  the
taking  of  a  federal  census  in any tenth year from the year nineteen
hundred thirty be omitted or if the federal census  fails  to  show  the
number  of  aliens  or  Indians  not  taxed. If a federal census, though
giving the requisite information as to the state at large, fails to give
the information as to  any  civil  or  territorial  divisions  which  is
required  to  be known for such purposes, the legislature, by law, shall
provide for such an enumeration of the inhabitants of such parts of  the
state only as may be necessary, which shall supersede in part the feder-
al  census  and  be used in connection therewith for such purposes.  The
legislature, by law, may provide in its discretion for an enumeration by
state authorities of the inhabitants of the state, to be used  for  such
purposes,  in  place of a federal census, when the return of a decennial
federal census is delayed so that it is not available at  the  beginning
of  the  regular session of the legislature in the second year after the
year nineteen hundred thirty or after any tenth year therefrom, or if an
apportionment of members of assembly and readjustment or  alteration  of
senate districts is not made at or before such a session. At the regular

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD89139-15-2

S. 6698                             2

session  in the year nineteen hundred thirty-two, and at the first regu-
lar session after the year nineteen hundred forty and after  each  tenth
year  therefrom the senate districts shall be readjusted or altered, but
if,  in  any  decade, counting from and including that which begins with
the year nineteen hundred thirty-one, such a readjustment or  alteration
is  not  made at the time above prescribed, it shall be made at a subse-
quent session occurring not later than the sixth year  of  such  decade,
meaning  not  later  than  nineteen hundred thirty-six, nineteen hundred
forty-six, nineteen hundred fifty-six, and  so  on;  provided,  however,
that  if  such districts shall have been readjusted or altered by law in
either of the years nineteen hundred thirty or nineteen hundred  thirty-
one,  they  shall remain unaltered until the first regular session after
the year nineteen hundred forty. [Such districts shall be so  readjusted
or  altered  that each senate district shall contain as nearly as may be
an equal number of inhabitants, excluding aliens, and be in  as  compact
form  as practicable, and shall remain unaltered until the first year of
the next decade as above defined, and shall  at  all  times  consist  of
contiguous territory, and no county shall be divided in the formation of
a  senate district except to make two or more senate districts wholly in
such county.] No town, except a town having more than a  full  ratio  of
apportionment,  and  no  block  in  a city inclosed by streets or public
ways, shall be divided in the formation of senate districts[; nor  shall
any].  IN  THE  REAPPORTIONMENT  OF  SENATE DISTRICTS, NO district SHALL
contain a greater excess in population over an adjoining district in the
same county, than the population of a town or  block  therein  adjoining
such district. Counties, towns or blocks which, from their location, may
be  included  in  either of two districts, shall be so placed as to make
said districts most nearly equal in  number  of  inhabitants,  excluding
aliens.
  No county shall have four or more senators unless it shall have a full
ratio  for each senator. No county shall have more than one-third of all
the senators; and no two counties or the territory thereof as now organ-
ized, which are adjoining counties,  or  which  are  separated  only  by
public waters, shall have more than one-half of all the senators.
  (B)  THE  INDEPENDENT REDISTRICTING COMMISSION ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO
SECTION FIVE-B OF THIS ARTICLE SHALL PREPARE  A  REDISTRICTING  PLAN  TO
ESTABLISH  SENATE, ASSEMBLY, AND CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS EVERY TEN YEARS
COMMENCING IN TWO THOUSAND TWENTY-ONE, AND SHALL SUBMIT TO THE  LEGISLA-
TURE  SUCH  PLAN  AND THE IMPLEMENTING LEGISLATION THEREFOR ON OR BEFORE
JANUARY FIRST OR AS SOON AS PRACTICABLE THEREAFTER  BUT  NO  LATER  THAN
JANUARY  FIFTEENTH  IN  THE YEAR ENDING IN TWO BEGINNING IN TWO THOUSAND
TWENTY-TWO.  THE REDISTRICTING PLANS FOR THE  ASSEMBLY  AND  THE  SENATE
SHALL  BE  CONTAINED  IN  AND  VOTED UPON BY THE LEGISLATURE IN A SINGLE
BILL, AND THE CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT PLAN MAY BE INCLUDED  IN  THE  SAME
BILL  IF THE LEGISLATURE CHOOSES TO DO SO.  THE IMPLEMENTING LEGISLATION
SHALL BE VOTED UPON, WITHOUT AMENDMENT, BY THE SENATE  OR  THE  ASSEMBLY
AND  IF  APPROVED  BY  THE  FIRST HOUSE VOTING UPON IT, SUCH LEGISLATION
SHALL BE DELIVERED TO THE OTHER HOUSE IMMEDIATELY TO BE VOTED UPON WITH-
OUT AMENDMENT.  IF APPROVED BY BOTH HOUSES, SUCH  LEGISLATION  SHALL  BE
PRESENTED TO THE GOVERNOR FOR ACTION.
  IF EITHER HOUSE SHALL FAIL TO APPROVE THE LEGISLATION IMPLEMENTING THE
FIRST  REDISTRICTING  PLAN,  OR THE GOVERNOR SHALL VETO SUCH LEGISLATION
AND THE LEGISLATURE SHALL FAIL TO OVERRIDE SUCH VETO, EACH HOUSE OR  THE
GOVERNOR  IF  HE OR SHE VETOES IT, SHALL NOTIFY THE COMMISSION THAT SUCH
LEGISLATION HAS BEEN DISAPPROVED.  WITHIN FIFTEEN DAYS OF SUCH NOTIFICA-
TION AND IN NO CASE LATER THAN FEBRUARY TWENTY-EIGHTH, THE REDISTRICTING

S. 6698                             3

COMMISSION SHALL PREPARE AND SUBMIT TO THE LEGISLATURE A  SECOND  REDIS-
TRICTING  PLAN AND THE NECESSARY IMPLEMENTING LEGISLATION FOR SUCH PLAN.
SUCH LEGISLATION SHALL BE VOTED UPON, WITHOUT AMENDMENT, BY  THE  SENATE
OR THE ASSEMBLY AND, IF APPROVED BY THE FIRST HOUSE VOTING UPON IT, SUCH
LEGISLATION  SHALL  BE  DELIVERED  TO  THE OTHER HOUSE IMMEDIATELY TO BE
VOTED UPON WITHOUT AMENDMENT.  IF APPROVED BY BOTH HOUSES,  SUCH  LEGIS-
LATION SHALL BE PRESENTED TO THE GOVERNOR FOR ACTION.
  IF EITHER HOUSE SHALL FAIL TO APPROVE THE LEGISLATION IMPLEMENTING THE
SECOND  REDISTRICTING  PLAN, OR THE GOVERNOR SHALL VETO SUCH LEGISLATION
AND THE LEGISLATURE SHALL FAIL TO OVERRIDE SUCH VETO, EACH  HOUSE  SHALL
INTRODUCE  SUCH  IMPLEMENTING LEGISLATION WITH ANY AMENDMENTS EACH HOUSE
OF THE LEGISLATURE DEEMS NECESSARY.   ALL SUCH AMENDMENTS  SHALL  COMPLY
WITH  THE  PROVISIONS OF THIS ARTICLE.  IF APPROVED BY BOTH HOUSES, SUCH
LEGISLATION SHALL BE PRESENTED TO THE GOVERNOR FOR ACTION.
  ALL VOTES BY THE SENATE OR ASSEMBLY ON ANY REDISTRICTING  PLAN  LEGIS-
LATION  PURSUANT  TO  THIS ARTICLE SHALL BE CONDUCTED IN ACCORDANCE WITH
THE FOLLOWING RULES:
  (1) IN THE EVENT THAT THE SPEAKER OF THE ASSEMBLY  AND  THE  TEMPORARY
PRESIDENT  OF THE SENATE ARE MEMBERS OF TWO DIFFERENT POLITICAL PARTIES,
APPROVAL OF  LEGISLATION  SUBMITTED  BY  THE  INDEPENDENT  REDISTRICTING
COMMISSION PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION (F) OF SECTION FIVE-B OF THIS ARTICLE
SHALL  REQUIRE THE VOTE IN SUPPORT OF ITS PASSAGE BY AT LEAST A MAJORITY
OF THE MEMBERS ELECTED TO EACH HOUSE.
  (2) IN THE EVENT THAT THE SPEAKER OF THE ASSEMBLY  AND  THE  TEMPORARY
PRESIDENT  OF THE SENATE ARE MEMBERS OF TWO DIFFERENT POLITICAL PARTIES,
APPROVAL OF  LEGISLATION  SUBMITTED  BY  THE  INDEPENDENT  REDISTRICTING
COMMISSION PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION (G) OF SECTION FIVE-B OF THIS ARTICLE
SHALL  REQUIRE  THE  VOTE  IN  SUPPORT  OF ITS PASSAGE BY AT LEAST SIXTY
PERCENT OF THE MEMBERS ELECTED TO EACH HOUSE.
  (3) IN THE EVENT THAT THE SPEAKER OF THE ASSEMBLY  AND  THE  TEMPORARY
PRESIDENT  OF  THE  SENATE  ARE  MEMBERS  OF  THE  SAME POLITICAL PARTY,
APPROVAL OF  LEGISLATION  SUBMITTED  BY  THE  INDEPENDENT  REDISTRICTING
COMMISSION  PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION (F) OR (G) OF SECTION FIVE-B OF THIS
ARTICLE SHALL REQUIRE THE VOTE IN SUPPORT OF ITS  PASSAGE  BY  AT  LEAST
TWO-THIRDS OF THE MEMBERS ELECTED TO EACH HOUSE.
  (C)  SUBJECT TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE FEDERAL CONSTITUTION AND STAT-
UTES AND IN  COMPLIANCE  WITH  STATE  CONSTITUTIONAL  REQUIREMENTS,  THE
FOLLOWING  PRINCIPLES  SHALL BE USED IN THE CREATION OF STATE SENATE AND
STATE ASSEMBLY DISTRICTS AND CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS:
  (1) WHEN DRAWING DISTRICT LINES, THE COMMISSION SHALL CONSIDER WHETHER
SUCH LINES WOULD RESULT IN  THE  DENIAL  OR  ABRIDGEMENT  OF  RACIAL  OR
LANGUAGE  MINORITY  VOTING  RIGHTS,  AND DISTRICTS SHALL NOT BE DRAWN TO
HAVE THE PURPOSE OF, NOR SHALL THEY RESULT IN, THE DENIAL OR ABRIDGEMENT
OF SUCH RIGHTS. DISTRICTS SHALL BE DRAWN SO THAT, BASED ON THE  TOTALITY
OF  THE  CIRCUMSTANCES,  RACIAL  OR MINORITY LANGUAGE GROUPS DO NOT HAVE
LESS OPPORTUNITY TO PARTICIPATE IN  THE  POLITICAL  PROCESS  THAN  OTHER
MEMBERS OF THE ELECTORATE AND TO ELECT REPRESENTATIVES OF THEIR CHOICE.
  (2)  TO  THE  EXTENT PRACTICABLE, DISTRICTS SHALL CONTAIN AS NEARLY AS
MAY BE AN EQUAL NUMBER OF INHABITANTS.  FOR EACH DISTRICT THAT  DEVIATES
FROM  THIS  REQUIREMENT,  THE COMMISSION SHALL PROVIDE A SPECIFIC PUBLIC
EXPLANATION AS TO WHY SUCH DEVIATION EXISTS.
  (3) EACH DISTRICT SHALL CONSIST OF CONTIGUOUS TERRITORY.
  (4) EACH DISTRICT SHALL BE AS COMPACT IN FORM AS PRACTICABLE.
  (5) DISTRICTS SHALL NOT BE DRAWN TO DISCOURAGE COMPETITION OR FOR  THE
PURPOSE OF FAVORING OR DISFAVORING INCUMBENTS OR OTHER PARTICULAR CANDI-
DATES  OR  POLITICAL  PARTIES. THE COMMISSION SHALL CONSIDER THE MAINTE-

S. 6698                             4

NANCE OF CORES OF EXISTING DISTRICTS, OF PRE-EXISTING POLITICAL SUBDIVI-
SIONS, INCLUDING COUNTIES, CITIES, AND  TOWNS,  AND  OF  COMMUNITIES  OF
INTEREST.
  (6)  IN  DRAWING  SENATE  DISTRICTS, TOWNS OR BLOCKS WHICH, FROM THEIR
LOCATION MAY BE INCLUDED IN EITHER OF TWO DISTRICTS, SHALL BE SO  PLACED
AS  TO  MAKE  SAID DISTRICTS MOST NEARLY EQUAL IN NUMBER OF INHABITANTS.
THE REQUIREMENTS THAT SENATE DISTRICTS NOT DIVIDE COUNTIES OR TOWNS,  AS
WELL  AS  THE 'BLOCK-ON-BORDER' AND 'TOWN-ON-BORDER' RULES, SHALL REMAIN
IN EFFECT.
  DURING THE PREPARATION OF  THE  REDISTRICTING  PLAN,  THE  INDEPENDENT
REDISTRICTING  COMMISSION SHALL CONDUCT NOT LESS THAN ONE PUBLIC HEARING
ON PROPOSALS FOR THE REDISTRICTING OF CONGRESSIONAL AND  STATE  LEGISLA-
TIVE  DISTRICTS  IN  EACH  OF THE FOLLOWING (I) CITIES: ALBANY, BUFFALO,
SYRACUSE, ROCHESTER, AND WHITE PLAINS; AND (II) COUNTIES: BRONX,  KINGS,
NEW  YORK,  QUEENS,  RICHMOND,  NASSAU,  AND SUFFOLK. NOTICE OF ALL SUCH
HEARINGS SHALL BE WIDELY PUBLISHED USING THE BEST  AVAILABLE  MEANS  AND
MEDIA A REASONABLE TIME BEFORE EVERY HEARING. AT LEAST THIRTY DAYS PRIOR
TO  THE  FIRST  PUBLIC  HEARING AND IN ANY EVENT NO LATER THAN SEPTEMBER
FIFTEENTH OF THE YEAR ENDING IN ONE OR AS SOON AS PRACTICABLE  THEREAFT-
ER, THE INDEPENDENT REDISTRICTING COMMISSION SHALL MAKE WIDELY AVAILABLE
TO  THE  PUBLIC,  IN PRINT FORM AND USING THE BEST AVAILABLE TECHNOLOGY,
ITS DRAFT REDISTRICTING PLANS, RELEVANT DATA, AND  RELATED  INFORMATION.
SUCH  PLANS,  DATA,  AND  INFORMATION SHALL BE IN A FORM THAT ALLOWS AND
FACILITATES THEIR USE BY THE PUBLIC TO REVIEW, ANALYZE, AND COMMENT UPON
SUCH PLANS AND TO DEVELOP ALTERNATIVE REDISTRICTING PLANS FOR  PRESENTA-
TION  TO  THE  COMMISSION AT THE PUBLIC HEARINGS. THE INDEPENDENT REDIS-
TRICTING COMMISSION SHALL REPORT THE FINDINGS OF ALL  SUCH  HEARINGS  TO
THE LEGISLATURE UPON SUBMISSION OF A REDISTRICTING PLAN.
  (D)  The  ratio  for apportioning senators shall always be obtained by
dividing the number of inhabitants, excluding aliens, by fifty, and  the
senate  shall  always  be  composed of fifty members, except that if any
county having three or more senators at the time  of  any  apportionment
shall  be  entitled  on such ratio to an additional senator or senators,
such additional senator or senators shall be given  to  such  county  in
addition  to  the fifty senators, and the whole number of senators shall
be increased to that extent.
  The senate districts, including the present ones,  as  existing  imme-
diately before the enactment of a law readjusting or altering the senate
districts,  shall continue to be the senate districts of the state until
the expirations of the terms of the senators then in office, except  for
the  purpose of an election of senators for full terms beginning at such
expirations, and for the formation of assembly districts.
  (E) THE PROCESS FOR REDISTRICTING CONGRESSIONAL AND STATE  LEGISLATIVE
DISTRICTS  ESTABLISHED  BY  THIS SECTION AND SECTIONS FIVE AND FIVE-B OF
THIS ARTICLE SHALL GOVERN REDISTRICTING IN  THIS  STATE  EXCEPT  TO  THE
EXTENT THAT A COURT IS REQUIRED TO ORDER THE ADOPTION OF, OR CHANGES TO,
A REDISTRICTING PLAN AS A REMEDY FOR A VIOLATION OF LAW.
  A  REAPPORTIONMENT PLAN AND THE DISTRICTS CONTAINED IN SUCH PLAN SHALL
BE IN FORCE UNTIL THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF A PLAN BASED UPON THE SUBSEQUENT
FEDERAL DECENNIAL CENSUS TAKEN IN A YEAR ENDING IN ZERO UNLESS  MODIFIED
PURSUANT TO COURT ORDER.
  S  5.  The members of the assembly shall be chosen by single districts
and shall be apportioned [by the legislature] PURSUANT TO  THIS  SECTION
AND  SECTIONS FOUR AND FIVE-B OF THIS ARTICLE at each regular session at
which the senate districts are readjusted or altered, and  by  the  same
law,  among  the  several  counties  of  the  state, as nearly as may be

S. 6698                             5

according to the  number  of  their  respective  inhabitants,  excluding
aliens.  Every  county  heretofore established and separately organized,
except the county of Hamilton, shall always be entitled to one member of
assembly, and no county shall hereafter be erected unless its population
shall  entitle  it  to a member. The county of Hamilton shall elect with
the county of Fulton, until the population of  the  county  of  Hamilton
shall,  according to the ratio, entitle it to a member. But the legisla-
ture may abolish the said county of Hamilton  and  annex  the  territory
thereof to some other county or counties.
  The  quotient  obtained by dividing the whole number of inhabitants of
the state, excluding aliens, by the number of members of assembly, shall
be the ratio for apportionment, which shall  be  made  as  follows:  One
member  of  assembly  shall  be  apportioned  to every county, including
Fulton and Hamilton as one county, containing less than  the  ratio  and
one-half  over.  Two members shall be apportioned to every other county.
The remaining members of assembly shall be apportioned to  the  counties
having  more  than  two  ratios  according to the number of inhabitants,
excluding aliens. Members apportioned on remainders shall be apportioned
to the counties having the  highest  remainders  in  the  order  thereof
respectively. No county shall have more members of assembly than a coun-
ty having a greater number of inhabitants, excluding aliens.
  The  assembly districts, including the present ones, as existing imme-
diately before the enactment of a law making an apportionment of members
of assembly among the  counties,  shall  continue  to  be  the  assembly
districts of the state until the expiration of the terms of members then
in  office, except for the purpose of an election of members of assembly
for full terms beginning at such expirations.
  In any county entitled to more than one member, the board of  supervi-
sors,  and in any city embracing an entire county and having no board of
supervisors, the common council, or if there be none, the body  exercis-
ing  the powers of a common council, shall assemble at such times as the
legislature making an apportionment shall  prescribe,  and  divide  such
counties  into  assembly districts as nearly equal in number of inhabit-
ants, excluding aliens, as may be, of convenient and contiguous territo-
ry in as compact form as practicable, each  of  which  shall  be  wholly
within  a  senate district formed under the same apportionment, equal to
the number of members of assembly to which such county  shall  be  enti-
tled,  and  shall  cause  to  be filed in the office of the secretary of
state and of the clerk of such county, a description of such  districts,
specifying  the  number of each district and of the inhabitants thereof,
excluding aliens, according to the census or  enumeration  used  as  the
population  basis  for  the formation of such districts; and such appor-
tionment and districts shall remain unaltered until after the next reap-
portionment of members of assembly, except that the board of supervisors
of any county containing a town having more than a ratio  of  apportion-
ment  and  one-half  over  may  alter the assembly districts in a senate
district containing such town at any time  on  or  before  March  first,
nineteen  hundred  forty-six.  In  counties  having more than one senate
district, the same number of assembly districts shall  be  put  in  each
senate  district, unless the assembly districts cannot be evenly divided
among the senate districts of any county, in which case one more  assem-
bly  district  shall be put in the senate district in such county having
the largest, or one less assembly district shall be put  in  the  senate
district  in  such  county  having  the  smallest number of inhabitants,
excluding aliens, as the case may  require.  [No  town,  except  a  town
having  more  than  a  ratio  of apportionment and one-half over, and no

S. 6698                             6

block in a city inclosed by streets or public ways, shall be divided  in
the  formation  of assembly districts, nor shall any districts contain a
greater excess in population over an  adjoining  district  in  the  same
senate  district, than the population of a town or block therein adjoin-
ing such assembly district. Towns or blocks which, from  their  location
may  be  included  in  either of two districts, shall be so placed as to
make said districts most nearly equal in number of inhabitants,  exclud-
ing  aliens.] Nothing in this section shall prevent the division, at any
time, of counties and towns and the erection of new towns by the  legis-
lature.
  An  apportionment  by the legislature, or other body, shall be subject
to review by the supreme court, at the suit of any citizen,  under  such
reasonable  regulations  as the legislature may prescribe; and any court
before which a cause may be pending involving  an  apportionment,  shall
give  precedence  thereto  over all other causes and proceedings, and if
said court be not in session it shall convene promptly for the  disposi-
tion of the same.  THE COURT SHALL RENDER ITS DECISION WITHIN SIXTY DAYS
AFTER A PETITION IS FILED. IN ANY JUDICIAL PROCEEDING RELATING TO REDIS-
TRICTING OF CONGRESSIONAL OR STATE LEGISLATIVE DISTRICTS, ANY LAW ESTAB-
LISHING  CONGRESSIONAL  OR  STATE LEGISLATIVE DISTRICTS FOUND TO VIOLATE
THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ARTICLE SHALL BE INVALID IN WHOLE OR IN PART.  IN
THE  EVENT  THAT  A  COURT FINDS SUCH A VIOLATION, THE LEGISLATURE SHALL
HAVE A FULL AND  REASONABLE  OPPORTUNITY  TO  CORRECT  THE  LAW'S  LEGAL
INFIRMITIES.
  S 5-B. (A) ON OR BEFORE FEBRUARY FIRST OF EACH YEAR ENDING WITH A ZERO
AND  AT ANY OTHER TIME A COURT ORDERS THAT CONGRESSIONAL OR STATE LEGIS-
LATIVE DISTRICTS BE AMENDED,  AN  INDEPENDENT  REDISTRICTING  COMMISSION
SHALL  BE  ESTABLISHED TO DETERMINE THE DISTRICT LINES FOR CONGRESSIONAL
AND STATE LEGISLATIVE OFFICES. THE INDEPENDENT REDISTRICTING  COMMISSION
SHALL BE COMPOSED OF TEN MEMBERS, APPOINTED AS FOLLOWS:
  (1)  TWO  MEMBERS SHALL BE APPOINTED BY THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE
SENATE;
  (2) TWO MEMBERS SHALL BE APPOINTED BY THE SPEAKER OF THE ASSEMBLY;
  (3) TWO MEMBERS SHALL BE APPOINTED  BY  THE  MINORITY  LEADER  OF  THE
SENATE;
  (4)  TWO  MEMBERS  SHALL  BE  APPOINTED  BY THE MINORITY LEADER OF THE
ASSEMBLY;
  (5) TWO MEMBERS SHALL BE APPOINTED  BY  THE  EIGHT  MEMBERS  APPOINTED
PURSUANT  TO PARAGRAPHS (1) THROUGH (4) OF THIS SUBDIVISION BY A VOTE OF
NOT LESS THAN FIVE MEMBERS IN FAVOR OF SUCH APPOINTMENT, AND  THESE  TWO
MEMBERS  SHALL  NOT  HAVE  BEEN  ENROLLED IN THE PRECEDING FIVE YEARS IN
EITHER OF THE TWO POLITICAL PARTIES THAT CONTAIN THE LARGEST  OR  SECOND
LARGEST NUMBER OF ENROLLED VOTERS WITHIN THE STATE;
  (6) ONE MEMBER SHALL BE DESIGNATED CHAIR OF THE COMMISSION BY A MAJOR-
ITY  OF  THE MEMBERS APPOINTED PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPHS (1) THROUGH (5) OF
THIS SUBDIVISION TO CONVENE AND PRESIDE OVER EACH MEETING OF THE COMMIS-
SION.
  (B) THE MEMBERS OF THE INDEPENDENT REDISTRICTING COMMISSION  SHALL  BE
REGISTERED  VOTERS  IN THIS STATE. NO MEMBER SHALL WITHIN THE LAST THREE
YEARS:
  (1) BE OR HAVE BEEN A MEMBER OF THE  NEW  YORK  STATE  LEGISLATURE  OR
UNITED STATES CONGRESS OR A STATEWIDE ELECTED OFFICIAL;
  (2) BE OR HAVE BEEN A STATE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OR LEGISLATIVE EMPLOY-
EE AS DEFINED IN SECTION SEVENTY-THREE OF THE PUBLIC OFFICERS LAW;
  (3) BE OR HAVE BEEN A REGISTERED LOBBYIST IN NEW YORK STATE;

S. 6698                             7

  (4)  BE  OR  HAVE BEEN A POLITICAL PARTY CHAIRMAN, AS DEFINED IN PARA-
GRAPH (K) OF SUBDIVISION ONE OF  SECTION  SEVENTY-THREE  OF  THE  PUBLIC
OFFICERS LAW;
  (5)  BE THE SPOUSE OF A STATEWIDE ELECTED OFFICIAL OR OF ANY MEMBER OF
THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS, OR OF THE STATE LEGISLATURE.
  (C) TO THE EXTENT PRACTICABLE, THE MEMBERS OF THE  INDEPENDENT  REDIS-
TRICTING COMMISSION SHALL REFLECT THE DIVERSITY OF THE RESIDENTS OF THIS
STATE  WITH  REGARD TO RACE, ETHNICITY, GENDER, LANGUAGE, AND GEOGRAPHIC
RESIDENCE AND TO THE EXTENT PRACTICABLE THE APPOINTING AUTHORITIES SHALL
CONSULT WITH ORGANIZATIONS DEVOTED TO PROTECTING THE  VOTING  RIGHTS  OF
MINORITY AND OTHER VOTERS CONCERNING POTENTIAL APPOINTEES TO THE COMMIS-
SION.
  (D)  VACANCIES  IN  THE  MEMBERSHIP  OF THE COMMISSION SHALL BE FILLED
WITHIN THIRTY DAYS IN THE MANNER PROVIDED FOR IN THE  ORIGINAL  APPOINT-
MENTS.
  (E)  THE  LEGISLATURE SHALL PROVIDE BY LAW FOR THE COMPENSATION OF THE
MEMBERS OF THE INDEPENDENT REDISTRICTING COMMISSION,  INCLUDING  COMPEN-
SATION  FOR ACTUAL AND NECESSARY EXPENSES INCURRED IN THE PERFORMANCE OF
THEIR DUTIES.
  (F) A MINIMUM OF FIVE MEMBERS OF THE INDEPENDENT REDISTRICTING COMMIS-
SION SHALL CONSTITUTE A QUORUM FOR THE TRANSACTION OF  ANY  BUSINESS  OR
THE EXERCISE OF ANY POWER OF SUCH COMMISSION PRIOR TO THE APPOINTMENT OF
THE TWO COMMISSION MEMBERS APPOINTED PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPH (5) OF SUBDI-
VISION (A) OF THIS SECTION, AND A MINIMUM OF SEVEN MEMBERS SHALL CONSTI-
TUTE A QUORUM AFTER SUCH MEMBERS HAVE BEEN APPOINTED, AND NO EXERCISE OF
ANY  POWER OF THE INDEPENDENT REDISTRICTING COMMISSION SHALL OCCUR WITH-
OUT THE AFFIRMATIVE VOTE OF AT LEAST A MAJORITY OF THE MEMBERS, PROVIDED
THAT, IN ORDER TO APPROVE ANY REDISTRICTING PLAN AND IMPLEMENTING LEGIS-
LATION, THE FOLLOWING RULES SHALL APPLY:
  (1) IN THE EVENT THAT THE SPEAKER OF THE ASSEMBLY  AND  THE  TEMPORARY
PRESIDENT  OF  THE  SENATE  ARE  MEMBERS  OF  THE  SAME POLITICAL PARTY,
APPROVAL OF A REDISTRICTING PLAN AND  IMPLEMENTING  LEGISLATION  BY  THE
COMMISSION  FOR  SUBMISSION TO THE LEGISLATURE SHALL REQUIRE THE VOTE IN
SUPPORT OF ITS APPROVAL BY AT LEAST SEVEN MEMBERS INCLUDING AT LEAST ONE
MEMBER APPOINTED BY EACH OF THE LEGISLATIVE LEADERS.
  (2) IN THE EVENT THAT THE SPEAKER OF THE ASSEMBLY  AND  THE  TEMPORARY
PRESIDENT  OF THE SENATE ARE MEMBERS OF TWO DIFFERENT POLITICAL PARTIES,
APPROVAL OF A REDISTRICTING PLAN BY THE COMMISSION FOR SUBMISSION TO THE
LEGISLATURE SHALL REQUIRE THE VOTE IN SUPPORT  OF  ITS  APPROVAL  BY  AT
LEAST  SEVEN  MEMBERS  INCLUDING  AT  LEAST  ONE MEMBER APPOINTED BY THE
SPEAKER OF THE ASSEMBLY AND ONE MEMBER APPOINTED BY THE TEMPORARY PRESI-
DENT OF THE SENATE.
  (G) IN THE EVENT THAT THE COMMISSION IS UNABLE TO OBTAIN  SEVEN  VOTES
TO  APPROVE  A REDISTRICTING PLAN ON OR BEFORE JANUARY FIRST IN THE YEAR
ENDING IN TWO OR AS SOON AS PRACTICABLE THEREAFTER, THE COMMISSION SHALL
SUBMIT TO THE  LEGISLATURE  THAT  REDISTRICTING  PLAN  AND  IMPLEMENTING
LEGISLATION  THAT GARNERED THE HIGHEST NUMBER OF VOTES IN SUPPORT OF ITS
APPROVAL BY THE COMMISSION WITH A RECORD OF THE VOTES  TAKEN.    IN  THE
EVENT  THAT  MORE  THAN  ONE  PLAN RECEIVED THE SAME NUMBER OF VOTES FOR
APPROVAL, AND SUCH NUMBER WAS HIGHER THAN THAT FOR ANY OTHER PLAN,  THEN
THE  COMMISSION  SHALL  SUBMIT  ALL  PLANS  THAT OBTAINED SUCH NUMBER OF
VOTES.  THE LEGISLATURE SHALL CONSIDER AND VOTE UPON  SUCH  IMPLEMENTING
LEGISLATION IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE VOTING RULES SET FORTH IN SUBDIVISION
(B) OF SECTION FOUR OF THIS ARTICLE.

S. 6698                             8

  (H)  (1)  THE  INDEPENDENT  REDISTRICTING COMMISSION SHALL APPOINT TWO
CO-EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS BY A MAJORITY VOTE OF THE COMMISSION  IN  ACCORD-
ANCE WITH THE FOLLOWING PROCEDURE:
  (I)  IN  THE  EVENT THAT THE SPEAKER OF THE ASSEMBLY AND THE TEMPORARY
PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE ARE MEMBERS OF TWO DIFFERENT POLITICAL  PARTIES,
THE  CO-EXECUTIVE  DIRECTORS  SHALL  BE  APPROVED  BY  A MAJORITY OF THE
COMMISSION THAT INCLUDES AT LEAST ONE APPOINTEE BY THE  SPEAKER  OF  THE
ASSEMBLY  AND  AT  LEAST ONE APPOINTEE BY THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE
SENATE.
  (II) IN THE EVENT THAT THE SPEAKER OF THE ASSEMBLY AND  THE  TEMPORARY
PRESIDENT  OF  THE  SENATE  ARE MEMBERS OF THE SAME POLITICAL PARTY, THE
CO-EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS SHALL BE APPROVED BY A MAJORITY OF THE COMMISSION
THAT INCLUDES AT LEAST ONE APPOINTEE BY EACH OF THE LEGISLATIVE LEADERS.
  (2) ONE OF THE CO-EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS SHALL BE ENROLLED IN  THE  POLI-
TICAL PARTY WITH THE HIGHEST NUMBER OF ENROLLED MEMBERS IN THE STATE AND
ONE  SHALL  BE  ENROLLED  IN THE POLITICAL PARTY WITH THE SECOND HIGHEST
NUMBER OF ENROLLED MEMBERS IN  THE  STATE.  THE  CO-EXECUTIVE  DIRECTORS
SHALL  APPOINT  SUCH  STAFF AS ARE NECESSARY TO PERFORM THE COMMISSION'S
DUTIES, EXCEPT THAT THE COMMISSION SHALL REVIEW A STAFFING PLAN PREPARED
AND PROVIDED BY THE CO-EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS WHICH SHALL CONTAIN A LIST OF
THE VARIOUS POSITIONS AND THE DUTIES, QUALIFICATIONS, AND SALARIES ASSO-
CIATED WITH EACH POSITION.
  (3) IN THE EVENT THAT THE COMMISSION IS UNABLE TO APPOINT ONE OR  BOTH
OF  THE  CO-EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS WITHIN FORTY-FIVE DAYS OF THE ESTABLISH-
MENT OF A QUORUM OF SEVEN COMMISSIONERS, THE FOLLOWING  PROCEDURE  SHALL
BE FOLLOWED:
  (I)  IN  THE  EVENT THAT THE SPEAKER OF THE ASSEMBLY AND THE TEMPORARY
PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE ARE MEMBERS OF TWO DIFFERENT POLITICAL  PARTIES,
WITHIN TEN DAYS THE SPEAKER'S APPOINTEES ON THE COMMISSION SHALL APPOINT
ONE  CO-EXECUTIVE  DIRECTOR, AND THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT'S APPOINTEES ON
THE COMMISSION SHALL APPOINT THE OTHER CO-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR. ALSO WITH-
IN TEN DAYS THE MINORITY LEADER OF THE ASSEMBLY SHALL SELECT A CO-DEPUTY
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, AND THE MINORITY LEADER OF THE SENATE  SHALL  SELECT
THE OTHER CO-DEPUTY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR.
  (II)  IN  THE EVENT THAT THE SPEAKER OF THE ASSEMBLY AND THE TEMPORARY
PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE ARE MEMBERS OF THE SAME POLITICAL PARTY,  WITHIN
TEN  DAYS  THE  SPEAKER'S  AND  TEMPORARY  PRESIDENT'S APPOINTEES ON THE
COMMISSION SHALL TOGETHER APPOINT ONE CO-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, AND THE TWO
MINORITY LEADERS' APPOINTEES ON THE COMMISSION  SHALL  TOGETHER  APPOINT
THE OTHER CO-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR.
  (4)  IN THE EVENT OF A VACANCY IN THE OFFICES OF CO-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
OR CO-DEPUTY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, THE POSITION SHALL BE FILLED WITHIN TEN
DAYS OF ITS OCCURRENCE BY THE SAME APPOINTING AUTHORITY  OR  AUTHORITIES
THAT APPOINTED HIS OR HER PREDECESSOR.
  (I)  THE  STATE  BUDGET SHALL INCLUDE NECESSARY APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE
EXPENSES  OF  THE  INDEPENDENT  REDISTRICTING  COMMISSION,  PROVIDE  FOR
COMPENSATION  AND REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES FOR THE MEMBERS AND STAFF OF
THE COMMISSION, ASSIGN TO THE COMMISSION ANY ADDITIONAL DUTIES THAT  THE
LEGISLATURE  MAY  DEEM NECESSARY TO THE PERFORMANCE OF THE DUTIES STIPU-
LATED IN THIS ARTICLE, AND REQUIRE OTHER AGENCIES AND OFFICIALS  OF  THE
STATE  OF NEW YORK AND ITS POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS TO PROVIDE SUCH INFOR-
MATION AND ASSISTANCE AS THE  COMMISSION  MAY  REQUIRE  TO  PERFORM  ITS
DUTIES.
  S  2. Resolved (if the Assembly concur), That the foregoing amendments
be referred to the first regular legislative session convening after the
next succeeding general election of members of  the  assembly,  and,  in

S. 6698                             9

conformity  with  section  1  of  article  19  of  the  constitution, be
published for 3 months previous to the time of such election.

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