Creates the independent redistricting commission to establish senate, assembly and congressional districts.
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 redistricting 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 affirmatively 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 redistricting 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 contiguous 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 technology. 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 structure 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 majority 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 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 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 commission 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 redistricting commission would appoint two co-executive directors of the commission 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 succeeding 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.
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 legislature 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.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6698 IN SENATE 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.