BILL NUMBER: S6240
TITLE OF BILL : CONCURRENT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY proposing amendments to the constitution, in relation to the establishment of state legislative and congressional districts and repealing sections 3, 4, 5 and 5-a of article 3 of the constitution relating thereto
PURPOSE OF BILL : To ensure that legislative districts are determined without political motivation.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS : The bill creates a non partisan commission to draw legislative districts based on population equality, continuity, unity of counties and cities, and. compactness. The commission will submit its proposal to the legislature which will either accept or reject the proposal but may make no substantive changes. If rejected the legislature must explain why and then the commission will resubmit a new plan for reapportionment. If a fourth proposal is required, only then will the plan be subject to amendment in the same manner as other bills.
JUSTIFICATION : New York State needs comprehensive reform that will take the politics out of the redistricting process once and for all. This bill is based upon the Iowa process enacted in 1980, the nonpartisan Legislative Services Bureau develops up to three plans that can be either accepted or rejected by the legislature. The Iowa Legislature has been generally quick to enact the Bureau's plans. The four criteria used, in descending ordering of importance, are population equality, contiguity, unity of counties and cities, and compactness. Iowa state law specifically forbids the use of political affiliation, previous election results, the addresses of incumbents, or any demographic information other than population in creating the redistricting proposals. This bill is based on the Iowa process's proven effectiveness.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY : None.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS : None.
EFFECTIVE DATE : First legislative session convening after the next succeeding general election of members of the assembly.