1. The Laws of New York
  2. Consolidated Laws
  3. Legislative
  4. Article 6-A: Redistricting of Congressional and State Legislative Districts


Section 94 Independent redistricting commission

Legislative (LEG)

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 majority of the members appointed pursuant to paragraphs (a) through (e) of this subdivision to convene and preside over each meeting of the commission.

  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 employee 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 paragraph (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 redistricting 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 commission.

  4. Vacancies in the membership of the commission shall be filled within 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 commission 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 subdivision one of this section, and a minimum of seven members shall constitute a quorum after such members have been appointed, and no exercise of any power of the independent redistricting commission shall occur without the affirmative vote of at least a majority of the members, provided that, in order to approve any redistricting plan and implementing legislation, 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 president 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 legislature 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 accordance with the following procedure:

  (1) In the event that the 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.

  (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 political 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 associated 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 establishment 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 within 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 stipulated in this article, and require other agencies and officials of the state of New York and its political subdivisions to provide such information and assistance as the commission may require to perform its duties.

  * See chapter 17 of 2012 § 6 for effectiveness