The bipartisan Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment --co-chaired by Senator Michael F. Nozzolio and Assemblyman John J. McEneny -- today released new Senate district lines, based on population shifts which occurred over the last ten years.
The Senate plan is fair, legal and protects minority voting interests. It complies with the State Constitution, the U.S. Constitution, state and federal laws, and the Federal Voting Rights Act.
The new draft district lines are the result of an open and transparent process. The boundaries were drafted after the Task Force coordinated 14 public hearings in every corner of the state, taking 55 hours of testimony from more than 375 witnesses.
The population of each Senate district fully complies with the requirements of the state constitution, including “town on border,” “block on border” and is well within the standard required by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The plan provides continuity by largely preserving the cores of existing districts. In fact, the vast majority of new districts contain three-fourths or more of their old districts.
Consistent with the Voting Rights Act, the Senate plan protects minority representation by maintaining or strengthening every African American district in New York City - - despite the loss of nearly 100,000 African Americans since the last census.
The plan maintains Hispanic populations in currently represented Hispanic districts, and even increases the Hispanic population in a number of districts.
The Task Force maintains “communities of interest” together whenever possible, including consolidation of the Orthodox Jewish community into one Brooklyn Senate district rather than five Senate districts. The Senate plan also includes a first-ever majority Asian-American Senate district anchored in Flushing, Queens. The Task Force will also seek additional public input on uniting “communities of interest” in the coming weeks.
The plan adds a 63rd Senate seat, as required by the formulas under Article III of the State Constitution. That seat is located in the Capital Region and Upper Hudson Valley, which experienced the largest percentage increase of population growth in the state since the 2000 U.S. census.
Nine additional public hearings will also take place, beginning on Monday, January 30 at 10:30 a.m. in Albany, in Hearing Room A on the second floor of the Legislative Office Building.
The new draft Senate district lines can be accessed at http://www.latfor.state.ny.us/maps/