senate Bill S6736

Signed By Governor
2011-2012 Legislative Session

Enacts the Redistricting Reform Act of 2012

download bill text pdf

Sponsored By

Archive: Last Bill Status - Signed by Governor


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

do you support this bill?

Actions

view actions (14)
Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Mar 15, 2012 approval memo.2
signed chap.17
delivered to governor
returned to senate
passed assembly
message of necessity - 3 day message
ordered to third reading rules cal.19
substituted for a9557
referred to governmental operations
referred to rules
Mar 14, 2012 delivered to assembly
passed senate
message of necessity - 3 day message
ordered to third reading cal.369

Votes

view votes

Co-Sponsors

S6736 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A9557
Law Section:
Legislative Law
Laws Affected:
Add Art 6-A ยงยง93 & 94, Leg L

S6736 - Bill Texts

view summary

Enacts the Redistricting Reform Act of 2012; establishes an independent redistricting commission to create redistricting plans for congressional and state legislative districts based on decennial federal census, which shall be considered by and voted upon by the state legislature.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S6736

TITLE OF BILL:

An act
to amend the legislative law, in relation to redistricting of
congressional, senate and assembly districts

PURPOSE:

This legislation, entitled the "Redistricting Reform Act of 2012,"
would amend the legislative law to reform comprehensively and
permanently the process and substantive criteria used to establish
new state legislative and congressional district lines every ten
years. Among other reforms, the legislation would create an
independent redistricting commission reflecting both the diversity of
the state and the participation of minority party conference
appointees and appointees who are not members of either major
political party 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, prohibit
partisan gerrymandering, and affirmatively and transparently explain
any deviations from average or ideal population sizes of 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 in and approve of new lines.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 provides the title of the Act, the "Redistricting Reform Act
of 2012."

Section 2 amends the legislative law by adding a new article 6-A to
establish a new and exclusive process by which new state legislative
and congressional districts shall be drawn. A new independent
redistricting commission, selected pursuant to provisions in the same
article, shall submit to the legislature its proposed district plans
and the legislature shall vote upon those plans without amendment. If
the legislature fails to pass such commission plans, the commission
shall revise and submit new district plans to the legislature again
for approval without amendment. If the legislature fails to pass such
plans, it may then amend such plans and vote upon them as amended.
However, any such amendments shall be limited pursuant to section 3
of the statute to affect no more than two percent of the population
of any district in such plan.

Section 2 further establishes 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. In
particular, if the
speaker of the assembly and the temporary president of the senate are
members of two different political parties, approval of a
commission's redistricting plan shall require a vote in support of
such approval by at least a majority of the members of each house. If
the speaker of the assembly and the temporary president of the senate
are members of the same political party, then approval of a
commission's redistricting plan shall require a vote in support of
such approval by at least two-thirds of the members of each house.

Section 2 further establishes substantive principles to govern the
drafting and approval of any district plans. Among other principles
that must be followed in drawing such district lines, this section
would require the commission to consider whether such lines would
result in the denial or abridgment of racial or language minority
voting rights, would further require that no districts shall be drawn
to have the purpose of, or result in, such denial or abridgement, and
districts shall 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; districts shall not be drawn to discourage competition
or for the purpose of favoring or disfavoring incumbents or other
particular candidates or political parties; the commission shall
consider the maintenance of cores of existing districts, of
pre-existing political subdivisions, and of communities of interest;
districts shall 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 districts shall be contiguous and
as compact in form as practicable.

Section 2 further requires the commission to hold extensive public
hearings across the state in specified cities and counties, and to
make widely available via the best available technology not only its
draft redistricting plans, but also all relevant data in a form that
facilitates public review and use to develop alternative
redistricting plans for submission to the commission.

Section 2 further provides that the process established in sections 4,
5, and 5-b of the constitution shall govern redistricting in this
state except to the extent that a court is required to order changes
to a district plan as a remedy for a violation of law.

Section 2 further adds a judicial review provision 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 2 further establishes the nature and structure of the
independent
redistricting commission. Specifically, the commission shall consist
of ten members:
two appointees by each of the four legislative leaders and then two
appointees selected by the majority of those eight-members such that
at least one appointee made by either of the
Assembly or Senate minority leaders must approve those two members.
Neither of those two members shall have been enrolled members of
either of the two major political parties in New York State in the
last five years. The section further requires that the commission
reflects "the diversity of the residents of this state with regard to
race, ethnicity, gender, language, and geographic residence" and that
the appointing authorities 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 shall 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.

Section 2 further requires that to approve a redistricting plan, the
independent redistricting commission must obtain the vote of at least
seven of its ten members in support of the plan. If the speaker of
the assembly and the temporary president of the senate are members of
two different political parties, then the seven or more members who
approve a plan must include at least one member appointed by the
speaker of the assembly and one member appointed by the temporary
president of the senate. If the speaker of the assembly and the
temporary president of the senate are members of the same political
party, then the seven or more members who approve a plan must include
one member appointed by each of the four legislative leaders.

In the event that the commission is unable to obtain seven votes to
approve a redistricting plan, the commission shall 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 legislature shall vote upon such plan or
plans as follows: if the speaker of the assembly and the temporary
president of the senate are members of different political parties,
then approval of a plan shall require a vote in support of such
approval by at least sixty percent of the members elected to each
house; if the speaker of the assembly and the temporary president of
the senate are members of the same political party, then approval of
a plan shall require a vote in support of such approval by at least
two thirds of the members elected to each house.

The independent redistricting commission shall appoint two
co-executive directors of the commission by approval of a majority of
the members of the commission. If the speaker of the assembly and the
temporary president of the senate are members of two different political

parties, such a majority shall include at least one member appointed
by the speaker of the assembly and one member appointed by the
temporary president of the senate. If the speaker of the assembly and
the temporary president of the senate are members of the same
political party, then such a majority shall include at least one
member appointed by each of the four legislative leaders.

In the event that the commission is unable to approve one or both of
the co-executive directors within 45 days of establishing a quorum of
seven commissioners, then, if the speaker of the assembly and the
temporary president of the senate are members of two different
political parties, then the speaker's appointees shall appoint one
co-executive director, the temporary president's appointees shall
appoint one co-executive director, the assembly
minority leader shall appoint one
co-deputy executive director, and the senate minority leader shall
appoint one co-deputy executive director. If the speaker of the
assembly and the temporary president of the senate are members of the
same political party, then the speaker's and temporary president's
appointees shall together select one co-executive director and the
minority leaders' appointees shall together select one co-executive
director. The co-executive directors shall appoint the commission's
staff.

Section 3 provides, in principal part, that any amendments by the
senate or assembly to a redistricting plan submitted by the
independent redistricting commission shall not affect more than two
percent of the population of any district contained in such plan.

Section 4 provides for specified timeframes within which the different
stages in the redistricting process must be completed.

Sections 5 and 6 provide the effective dates of the provisions of the
bill.

EXISTING LAW:

The existing provisions governing redistricting are contained in
article three of the constitution and section 83-m of the
legislative law.

STATEMENT IN SUPPORT:

This legislation will permanently reform New York's redistricting
process with unprecedented independence and transparency, and
substantive criteria that for the first time prohibit partisan
gerrymandering and protect both minority voting rights and
communities of interest.

This legislation would create a new independent redistricting
commission to draw the district lines, consisting of ten members: two
appointees by each of the four legislative leaders and then two

appointees selected by the majority of those eight members. Neither
of the latter two members can have been enrolled members of either of
the two major political parties in New York State in the last five
years. Moreover, at least one appointee by either the assembly or
senate minority leader must approve those two members. Accordingly,
the commission's composition will ensure unprecedented and
substantial roles in drawing the district lines for both the minority
party conferences and for citizens who are not major party members.

The legislation further requires that the commission reflects "the
diversity of the residents of this state with regard to race,
ethnicity, gender, language, and geographic residence" and that the
appointing authorities 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 shall 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. Together, these requirements will ensure that the
commission's members are both independent, representative of the
State's diverse communities, and sensitive to the critical importance
to voters of fair and proper district lines.

To approve a districting plan, the independent redistricting
commission must obtain the support of at least seven of its ten
members for such a plan. This voting rule ensures that at least three
members of the commission who were not appointed by the majority
conferences in either house must approve a plan before it is sent to
the legislature for a vote.

To ensure greater transparency and public involvement, the commission
must hold numerous public hearings throughout the State and, prior to
its first hearing, must make publicly available using the best
available technology not only its draft plans but also all relevant
data to facilitate public review and analysis of those plans, and
the development of alternative plans.

The commission's redistricting plans will be drawn according to
principles that provide unprecedented restrictions on partisan
gerrymandering, and protections for the voting rights of racial and
language minorities, and for existing communities of interest. For
the first time in New York State, both the commission that draws the
district lines and the legislature will be expressly prohibited from
creating districts for the purpose of favoring or disfavoring a
particular candidate or incumbent or political party. This bill does
not repeal the provisions of law governing the legislative task force
on demographic research and reapportionment or otherwise in any way
change the requirements of law regarding the counting of prisoners
for purposes of redistricting.

After the commission's public hearings, the Legislature will receive
and approve or disapprove the commission's plans without amendments.
If the commission's first plan is rejected, the commission must
submit an amended plan, which must be voted upon by the legislature
again without amendments. If the commission's second plan is also
rejected upon such vote, each house may then amend that plan prior to
approval except that such amendments must comply with the substantive
principles set forth above and, pursuant to a statute being approved
separately in conjunction with this resolution, cannot affect more
than two percent of the population of any district in the
commission's plan. This structure will provide reasonable
restrictions on the legislature's changes to the commission's plans.

If the courts are called upon to review the district lines, this
legislation requires that the court find such lines to be invalid in
whole or in part if they are not in compliance with the procedural or
substantive provisions of this article.

BUDGET IMPLICATIONS:

This legislation is not expected to have a significant impact on the
State's budget.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

With the exception of sections 3 and 4 of this legislation discussed
below, this bill shall take effect if and only if the constitutional
amendment entitled "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"
(hereinafter "the amendment") is not passed a second time by each
house by January 30, 2013 for consideration by the voters of the
State as set forth below. Specifically, the house that first passed the
amendment in 2012 shall vote upon the amendment first in the next
session of the legislature and in any event shall do so no later than
January 15, 2013. The house that approved the amendment second in
2012 shall also vote upon the amendment second in the next session
and in any event no later than January 30, 2013.

If the amendment is passed by both houses, then it shall be considered
for approval by the voters and this act shall not take effect except
that sections three and four of this act shall then take effect upon
the people approving and ratifying such amendment by a majority of
the electors voting thereon. If either house fails to pass the
amendment for the second time prior to the deadline, then this act
shall take effect immediately in its entirety and the governor shall
replace the legislative leaders as the appointing authority for the
commission for either or both houses that failed to approve the
amendment.

view full text
download pdf
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

    S. 6736                                                  A. 9557

                      S E N A T E - A S S E M B L Y

                             March 15, 2012
                               ___________

IN  SENATE -- Introduced by Sens. SKELOS, NOZZOLIO -- (at request of the
  Governor) -- read twice and ordered printed, and when  printed  to  be
  committed to the Committee on Rules

IN  ASSEMBLY  --  Introduced by M. of A. SILVER, ENGLEBRIGHT, WEINSTEIN,
  McENENY, GALEF -- (at request  of  the  Governor)  --  read  once  and
  referred to the Committee on Governmental Operations

AN  ACT  to  amend  the legislative law, in relation to redistricting of
  congressional, senate and assembly districts

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1.  This  act  shall be known and may be cited as the "Redis-
tricting Reform Act of 2012."
  S 2. The legislative law is amended by adding a  new  article  6-A  to
read as follows:
                               ARTICLE 6-A
                     REDISTRICTING OF CONGRESSIONAL
                     AND STATE LEGISLATIVE DISTRICTS
SECTION 93. REDISTRICTING.
        94. INDEPENDENT REDISTRICTING COMMISSION.
  S  93.  REDISTRICTING.  1.  THE  INDEPENDENT  REDISTRICTING COMMISSION
ESTABLISHED PURSUANT  TO  SECTION  NINETY-FOUR  OF  THIS  ARTICLE  SHALL
PREPARE A REDISTRICTING PLAN TO ESTABLISH SENATE, ASSEMBLY, AND CONGRES-
SIONAL  DISTRICTS EVERY TEN YEARS COMMENCING IN TWO THOUSAND TWENTY-ONE,
AND SHALL SUBMIT TO THE  LEGISLATURE  SUCH  PLAN  AND  THE  IMPLEMENTING
LEGISLATION  THEREFOR ON OR BEFORE JANUARY FIRST OR AS SOON AS PRACTICA-
BLE 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 WITHIN TEN DAYS OF THE PLAN'S SUBMISSION OR WITH-
IN TEN DAYS AFTER JANUARY FIRST IN A YEAR ENDING IN  TWO,  WHICHEVER  IS

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD12110-11-2

S. 6736                             2                            A. 9557

LATER.  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,  WITHIN FIVE DAYS FROM DELIVERY. IF APPROVED BY BOTH
HOUSES,  SUCH  LEGISLATION SHALL BE PRESENTED TO THE GOVERNOR FOR ACTION
WITHIN THREE DAYS.
  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 WITHIN TEN DAYS OF
SUCH VETO, EACH HOUSE OR THE GOVERNOR IF HE  OR  SHE  VETOES  IT,  SHALL
NOTIFY  THE COMMISSION THAT SUCH LEGISLATION HAS BEEN DISAPPROVED WITHIN
THREE DAYS OF SUCH DISAPPROVAL.  WITHIN FIFTEEN DAYS OF  SUCH  NOTIFICA-
TION  AND  IN NO CASE LATER THAN FEBRUARY TWENTY-EIGHTH OF A YEAR ENDING
IN TWO, THE REDISTRICTING COMMISSION SHALL PREPARE  AND  SUBMIT  TO  THE
LEGISLATURE  A  SECOND REDISTRICTING PLAN AND THE NECESSARY IMPLEMENTING
LEGISLATION FOR SUCH PLAN.   WITHIN TEN  DAYS  OF  ITS  SUBMISSION  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 LEGIS-
LATION  SHALL  BE  DELIVERED  TO THE OTHER HOUSE IMMEDIATELY TO BE VOTED
UPON, WITHOUT AMENDMENT, WITHIN FIVE DAYS FROM DELIVERY.  IF APPROVED BY
BOTH HOUSES, SUCH LEGISLATION SHALL BE PRESENTED  TO  THE  GOVERNOR  FOR
ACTION WITHIN THREE DAYS.
  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 WITHIN TEN DAYS  OF
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 WITHIN THREE DAYS.
  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:
  (A)  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 DULY APPROVED AND SUBMITTED BY THE INDEPENDENT
REDISTRICTING COMMISSION PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION SIX OF SECTION  NINETY-
FOUR OF THIS ARTICLE SHALL REQUIRE THE VOTE IN SUPPORT OF ITS PASSAGE BY
AT LEAST A MAJORITY OF THE MEMBERS ELECTED TO EACH HOUSE.
  (B)  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  THAT  WAS SUBMITTED BY THE INDEPENDENT REDIS-
TRICTING COMMISSION PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION SEVEN OF SECTION NINETY-FOUR
OF THIS ARTICLE SHALL REQUIRE THE VOTE IN SUPPORT OF ITS PASSAGE  BY  AT
LEAST SIXTY PERCENT OF THE MEMBERS ELECTED TO EACH HOUSE.
  (C)  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 SIX OR SEVEN OF  SECTION  NINETY-FOUR
OF  THIS  ARTICLE SHALL REQUIRE THE VOTE IN SUPPORT OF ITS PASSAGE BY AT
LEAST TWO-THIRDS OF THE MEMBERS ELECTED TO EACH HOUSE.
  2. 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:
  (A) WHEN DRAWING DISTRICT LINES, THE COMMISSION SHALL CONSIDER WHETHER
SUCH  LINES  WOULD  RESULT  IN  THE  DENIAL  OR ABRIDGEMENT OF RACIAL OR

S. 6736                             3                            A. 9557

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.
  (B)  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.
  (C) EACH DISTRICT SHALL CONSIST OF CONTIGUOUS TERRITORY.
  (D) EACH DISTRICT SHALL BE AS COMPACT IN FORM AS PRACTICABLE.
  (E) 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-
NANCE OF CORES OF EXISTING DISTRICTS, OF PRE-EXISTING POLITICAL SUBDIVI-
SIONS, INCLUDING COUNTIES, CITIES, AND  TOWNS,  AND  OF  COMMUNITIES  OF
INTEREST.
  (F)  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.
  3.  THE  PROCESS FOR REDISTRICTING CONGRESSIONAL AND STATE LEGISLATIVE
DISTRICTS ESTABLISHED BY 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.
  4.  IN ANY JUDICIAL PROCEEDING RELATING TO REDISTRICTING  OF  CONGRES-
SIONAL OR STATE LEGISLATIVE DISTRICTS, ANY LAW ESTABLISHING CONGRESSION-
AL  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

S. 6736                             4                            A. 9557

COURT  FINDS  SUCH  A  VIOLATION,  THE LEGISLATURE SHALL HAVE A FULL AND
REASONABLE OPPORTUNITY TO CORRECT THE LAW'S LEGAL INFIRMITIES.
  S  94.  INDEPENDENT REDISTRICTING COMMISSION. 1. ON OR BEFORE FEBRUARY
FIRST OF EACH YEAR ENDING WITH A ZERO AND AT  ANY  OTHER  TIME  A  COURT
ORDERS  THAT CONGRESSIONAL OR STATE LEGISLATIVE 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:
  (A)  TWO  MEMBERS SHALL BE APPOINTED BY THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE
SENATE;
  (B) TWO MEMBERS SHALL BE APPOINTED BY THE SPEAKER OF THE ASSEMBLY;
  (C) TWO MEMBERS SHALL BE APPOINTED  BY  THE  MINORITY  LEADER  OF  THE
SENATE;
  (D)  TWO  MEMBERS  SHALL  BE  APPOINTED  BY THE MINORITY LEADER OF THE
ASSEMBLY;
  (E) TWO MEMBERS SHALL BE APPOINTED  BY  THE  EIGHT  MEMBERS  APPOINTED
PURSUANT  TO PARAGRAPHS (A) THROUGH (D) 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;
  (F) ONE MEMBER SHALL BE DESIGNATED CHAIR OF THE COMMISSION BY A MAJOR-
ITY  OF  THE MEMBERS APPOINTED PURSUANT TO PARAGRAPHS (A) THROUGH (E) OF
THIS SUBDIVISION TO CONVENE AND PRESIDE OVER EACH MEETING OF THE COMMIS-
SION.
  2. THE MEMBERS OF THE INDEPENDENT REDISTRICTING  COMMISSION  SHALL  BE
REGISTERED  VOTERS  IN THIS STATE. NO MEMBER SHALL WITHIN THE LAST THREE
YEARS:
  (A) BE OR HAVE BEEN A MEMBER OF THE  NEW  YORK  STATE  LEGISLATURE  OR
UNITED STATES CONGRESS OR A STATEWIDE ELECTED OFFICIAL;
  (B) BE OR HAVE BEEN A STATE OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE OR LEGISLATIVE EMPLOY-
EE AS DEFINED IN SECTION SEVENTY-THREE OF THE PUBLIC OFFICERS LAW.
  (C) BE OR HAVE BEEN A REGISTERED LOBBYIST IN NEW YORK STATE;
  (D)  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;
  (E)  BE THE SPOUSE OF A STATEWIDE ELECTED OFFICIAL OR OF ANY MEMBER OF
THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS, OR OF THE STATE LEGISLATURE.
  3. 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.
  4. VACANCIES IN THE MEMBERSHIP OF THE COMMISSION SHALL BE FILLED WITH-
IN THIRTY DAYS IN THE MANNER PROVIDED FOR IN THE ORIGINAL APPOINTMENTS.
  5.  THE  MEMBERS  OF  THE  INDEPENDENT  REDISTRICTING COMMISSION SHALL
RECEIVE REIMBURSEMENT FOR ACTUAL AND NECESSARY EXPENSES INCURRED IN  THE
PERFORMANCE OF THEIR DUTIES.
  6.  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 (E) OF SUBDI-
VISION ONE OF THIS SECTION, AND A MINIMUM OF SEVEN MEMBERS SHALL CONSTI-

S. 6736                             5                            A. 9557

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:
  (A)  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.
  (B)  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.
  7. 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 SECTION
NINETY-THREE OF THIS ARTICLE. ANY AMENDMENTS TO SUCH PLANS BY THE LEGIS-
LATURE SHALL COMPLY WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ARTICLE.
  8. (A) THE INDEPENDENT  REDISTRICTING  COMMISSION  SHALL  APPOINT  TWO
CO-EXECUTIVE  DIRECTORS  BY A MAJORITY VOTE OF THE COMMISSION IN ACCORD-
ANCE WITH THE FOLLOWING PROCEDURE:
  (1) IN THE EVENT THAT THE THE SPEAKER OF THE ASSEMBLY AND  THE  TEMPO-
RARY  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.
  (2)  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.
  (B)  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.
  (C)  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-

S. 6736                             6                            A. 9557

MENT  OF  A QUORUM OF SEVEN COMMISSIONERS, THE FOLLOWING PROCEDURE SHALL
BE FOLLOWED:
  (1)  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.
  (2)  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.
  (D)  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.
  9.  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  3. Any amendments by the senate or assembly to a redistricting plan
submitted by the independent redistricting commission, shall not  affect
more  than  two  percent  of the population of any district contained in
such plan.  If two or more plans for districts in the  same  legislative
house or for congressional districts are submitted by the commission and
voted  upon  by the legislature, such plans shall be considered individ-
ually and not combined.
  S 4. (a) The independent redistricting commission established pursuant
to section 5-b of article 3 of the  constitution  shall  submit  to  the
legislature  such  plan and the implementing legislation therefore 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 thou-
sand twenty-two. Within ten days of the plan's submission or within  ten
days  after  January  first in a year ending in two, whichever is later,
the implementing legislation shall be voted upon  without  amendment  by
the  senate  or the assembly. 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, within five days from delivery. If
approved by both houses such  legislation  shall  be  presented  to  the
governor for action within three days.
  (b) If either house shall fail to approve the legislation implementing
the  first  redistricting  plan,  or the governor shall veto such legis-
lation and the legislature shall fail to override such veto  within  ten
days  of  such veto, each house or the governor, if he or she vetoes it,
shall notify the commission that such legislation has  been  disapproved
within  three  days  of  such  disapproval.  Within fifteen days of such
notification and in no case later than February twenty-eighth of a  year

S. 6736                             7                            A. 9557

ending  in two, the redistricting commission shall prepare and submit to
the legislature a second redistricting plan and the necessary implement-
ing legislation for such plan. Within ten days of  its  submission  such
legislation  shall  be  voted  upon, without amendment, by the senate or
assembly and, if approved by the first house voting upon it, such legis-
lation shall be delivered to the other house  immediately  to  be  voted
upon  without  amendment, within five days from delivery. If approved by
both houses, such legislation shall be presented  to  the  governor  for
action within three days.
  (c) If either house shall fail to approve the legislation implementing
the  second  redistricting  plan, or the governor shall veto such legis-
lation and the legislature shall fail to override such veto  within  ten
days  of  such veto, each house shall introduce such implementing legis-
lation with any amendments each house deems necessary.  If  approved  by
both  houses,  such  legislation  shall be presented to the governor for
action within three days.
  S 5.  The house that first approved in  2012  the  amendment  entitled
"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" (hereinafter "the  amendment")
shall  when  considering  the resolution in 2013 vote upon the amendment
first in the next session of the legislature and in any event  shall  do
so no later than January 15, 2013. The house that approved the amendment
second  in  2012  shall  also vote upon the amendment second in the next
session and in any event no later than January 30, 2013.
  S 6. (a) If the house that first votes upon the amendment in the  next
session  approves such amendment, and the other house approves it there-
after, then the amendment shall be considered for approval by the voters
and this act shall not take effect except that sections three  and  four
of this act shall then take effect upon the people approving and ratify-
ing  such amendment by a majority of the electors voting thereon. If the
house that first votes upon the amendment in the next  session  approves
such  amendment,  and the other house disapproves it thereafter or fails
to vote upon the amendment within fifteen days of the first house's vote
or by January 30, 2013, whichever is sooner, then this  act  shall  take
effect  immediately in its entirety except that wherever in this act the
legislative leaders of the house that failed to  approve  the  amendment
shall  appoint a member of the independent redistricting commission or a
staff member of the commission, then the  governor  shall  replace  that
house's  legislative  leaders as the appointing authority and shall make
such appointments as provided for in this act.
  (b) If the house that first votes  upon  the  amendment  in  the  next
session  disapproves  such amendment or fails to vote upon the amendment
prior to January 15, 2013, and the other house approves  it  thereafter,
then this act shall take effect immediately except that wherever in this
act  the  legislative  leaders  of  the house that failed to approve the
amendment shall  appoint  a  member  of  the  independent  redistricting
commission  or a staff member of the commission, then the governor shall
replace such house's legislative leaders as the appointing authority and
shall make such appointments as provided for in this act.
  (c) If the house that first votes  upon  the  amendment  in  the  next
session  disapproves  such amendment or fails to vote upon the amendment
prior to January 15, 2013, and the other house disapproves it thereafter
or fails to vote upon the amendment within fifteen  days  of  the  first
house's  vote or by January 30, 2013, whichever is sooner, then this act
shall take effect immediately in its entirety except  that  whenever  in

S. 6736                             8                            A. 9557

this act the legislative leaders shall appoint a member of the independ-
ent  redistricting  commission or a staff member of the commission, then
the governor shall replace each legislative  leader  as  the  appointing
authority and shall make such appointments as provided for in this act.

Comments

Open Legislation comments facilitate discussion of New York State legislation. All comments are subject to moderation. Comments deemed off-topic, commercial, campaign-related, self-promotional; or that contain profanity or hate speech; or that link to sites outside of the nysenate.gov domain are not permitted, and will not be published. Comment moderation is generally performed Monday through Friday.

By contributing or voting you agree to the Terms of Participation and verify you are over 13.