Bill Text: NY A06461 | 2019-2020 | General Assembly | Introduced


Bill Title: Relates to the number of senators and the apportionment of senate districts; provides that each senate district shall be comprised of one county in its entirety.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 15-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-03-28 - opinion referred to judiciary [A06461 Detail]

Download: New_York-2019-A06461-Introduced.html


                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
                                          6461
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                      March 7, 2019
                                       ___________
        Introduced  by M. of A. WALCZYK -- read once and referred to the Commit-
          tee on Governmental Operations
                    CONCURRENT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY
        proposing amendments to section 4 and section 5-a of article  3  of  the
          constitution, in relation to the number of senators and the apportion-
          ment of senate districts
     1    Section 1. Resolved (if the Senate concur), That sections 4 and 5-a of
     2  article 3 of the constitution be amended to read as follows:
     3    § 4. (a) Except as herein otherwise provided, the federal census taken
     4  in the year nineteen hundred thirty and each federal census taken decen-
     5  nially  thereafter  shall be controlling as to the number of inhabitants
     6  in the state or any part thereof for the purposes of  the  apportionment
     7  of  members  of  assembly  [and readjustment or alteration of senate and
     8  assembly] districts next occurring, in so far as  such  census  and  the
     9  tabulation  thereof  purport to give the information necessary therefor.
    10  The legislature, by law, shall provide for the making and tabulation  by
    11  state  authorities  of  an  enumeration of the inhabitants of the entire
    12  state to be used for such purposes, instead of a federal census, if  the
    13  taking  of  a  federal  census  in any tenth year from the year nineteen
    14  hundred thirty be omitted or if the federal census  fails  to  show  the
    15  number  of  aliens  or  Indians  not  taxed. If a federal census, though
    16  giving the requisite information as to the state at large, fails to give
    17  the information as to  any  civil  or  territorial  divisions  which  is
    18  required  to  be known for such purposes, the legislature, by law, shall
    19  provide for such an enumeration of the inhabitants of such parts of  the
    20  state only as may be necessary, which shall supersede in part the feder-
    21  al  census  and  be used in connection therewith for such purposes.  The
    22  legislature, by law, may provide in its discretion for an enumeration by
    23  state authorities of the inhabitants of the state, to be used  for  such
    24  purposes,  in  place of a federal census, when the return of a decennial
    25  federal census is delayed so that it is not available at  the  beginning
    26  of  the  regular session of the legislature in the second year after the
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD89076-01-9

        A. 6461                             2
     1  year nineteen hundred thirty or after any tenth year therefrom, or if an
     2  apportionment of members of assembly and readjustment or  alteration  of
     3  senate districts is not made at or before such a session. At the regular
     4  session  in the year nineteen hundred thirty-two, and at the first regu-
     5  lar session after the year nineteen hundred forty and after  each  tenth
     6  year  therefrom the senate districts shall be readjusted or altered, but
     7  if, in any decade, counting from and including that  which  begins  with
     8  the  year nineteen hundred thirty-one, such a readjustment or alteration
     9  is not made at the time above prescribed, it shall be made at  a  subse-
    10  quent  session  occurring  not later than the sixth year of such decade,
    11  meaning not later than nineteen  hundred  thirty-six,  nineteen  hundred
    12  forty-six,  nineteen  hundred  fifty-six,  and so on; provided, however,
    13  that if such districts shall have been readjusted or altered by  law  in
    14  either  of the years nineteen hundred thirty or nineteen hundred thirty-
    15  one, they shall remain unaltered until the first regular  session  after
    16  the  year  nineteen hundred forty.   [No town, except a town having more
    17  than a full ratio of apportionment, and no block in a city  inclosed  by
    18  streets  or  public  ways,  shall  be divided in the formation of senate
    19  districts. In the reapportionment of senate districts, no district shall
    20  contain a greater excess in population over an adjoining district in the
    21  same county, than the population of a town or  block  therein  adjoining
    22  such district. Counties, towns or blocks which, from their location, may
    23  be  included  in  either of two districts, shall be so placed as to make
    24  said districts most nearly equal in  number  of  inhabitants,  excluding
    25  aliens.
    26    No county shall have four or more senators unless it shall have a full
    27  ratio  for each senator. No county shall have more than one-third of all
    28  the senators; and no two counties or the territory thereof as now organ-
    29  ized, which are adjoining counties,  or  which  are  separated  only  by
    30  public  waters, shall have more than one-half of all the senators.] Each
    31  county of the state, regardless of population, shall be  represented  by
    32  one  senator.  Senate  districts shall be apportioned as one senator per
    33  county.
    34    (b) The independent redistricting commission established  pursuant  to
    35  section  five-b  of  this  article shall prepare a redistricting plan to
    36  establish [senate,] assembly[,] and congressional  districts  every  ten
    37  years  commencing  in  two  thousand twenty-one, and shall submit to the
    38  legislature such plan and the implementing legislation  therefor  on  or
    39  before  January  first or as soon as practicable thereafter but no later
    40  than January fifteenth in the year ending in two beginning in two  thou-
    41  sand  twenty-two.    The  redistricting  plans for the assembly [and the
    42  senate] shall be contained in and voted upon by  the  legislature  in  a
    43  single  bill, and the congressional district plan may be included in the
    44  same bill if the legislature chooses to do so.  The implementing  legis-
    45  lation  shall  be  voted  upon,  without amendment, by the senate or the
    46  assembly and if approved by the first house voting upon it, such  legis-
    47  lation  shall  be  delivered  to the other house immediately to be voted
    48  upon without amendment.  If approved by both  houses,  such  legislation
    49  shall be presented to the governor for action.
    50    If either house shall fail to approve the legislation implementing the
    51  first  redistricting  plan,  or the governor shall veto such legislation
    52  and the legislature shall fail to override such veto, each house or  the
    53  governor  if  he or she vetoes it, shall notify the commission that such
    54  legislation has been disapproved.  Within fifteen days of such notifica-
    55  tion and in no case later than February twenty-eighth, the redistricting
    56  commission shall prepare and submit to the legislature a  second  redis-

        A. 6461                             3
     1  tricting  plan and the necessary implementing legislation for such plan.
     2  Such legislation shall be voted upon, without amendment, by  the  senate
     3  or the assembly and, if approved by the first house voting upon it, such
     4  legislation  shall  be  delivered  to  the other house immediately to be
     5  voted upon without amendment.  If approved by both houses,  such  legis-
     6  lation shall be presented to the governor for action.
     7    If either house shall fail to approve the legislation implementing the
     8  second  redistricting  plan, or the governor shall veto such legislation
     9  and the legislature shall fail to override such veto, each  house  shall
    10  introduce  such  implementing legislation with any amendments each house
    11  of the legislature deems necessary.   All such amendments  shall  comply
    12  with  the  provisions of this article.  If approved by both houses, such
    13  legislation shall be presented to the governor for action.
    14    All votes by the senate or assembly on any redistricting  plan  legis-
    15  lation  pursuant  to  this article shall be conducted in accordance with
    16  the following rules:
    17    (1) In the event that the speaker of the assembly  and  the  temporary
    18  president  of the senate are members of two different political parties,
    19  approval of  legislation  submitted  by  the  independent  redistricting
    20  commission pursuant to subdivision (f) of section five-b of this article
    21  shall  require the vote in support of its passage by at least a majority
    22  of the members elected to each house.
    23    (2) In the event that the speaker of the assembly  and  the  temporary
    24  president  of the senate are members of two different political parties,
    25  approval of  legislation  submitted  by  the  independent  redistricting
    26  commission pursuant to subdivision (g) of section five-b of this article
    27  shall  require  the  vote  in  support  of its passage by at least sixty
    28  percent of the members elected to each house.
    29    (3) In the event that the speaker of the assembly  and  the  temporary
    30  president  of  the  senate  are  members  of  the  same political party,
    31  approval of  legislation  submitted  by  the  independent  redistricting
    32  commission  pursuant to subdivision (f) or (g) of section five-b of this
    33  article shall require the vote in support of its  passage  by  at  least
    34  two-thirds of the members elected to each house.
    35    (c)  Subject to the requirements of the federal constitution and stat-
    36  utes and in  compliance  with  state  constitutional  requirements,  the
    37  following principles shall be used in the creation of [state senate and]
    38  state assembly districts and congressional districts:
    39    (1) When drawing district lines, the commission shall consider whether
    40  such  lines  would  result  in  the  denial  or abridgement of racial or
    41  language minority voting rights, and districts shall  not  be  drawn  to
    42  have the purpose of, nor shall they result in, the denial or abridgement
    43  of  such rights. Districts shall be drawn so that, based on the totality
    44  of the circumstances, racial or minority language  groups  do  not  have
    45  less  opportunity  to  participate  in  the political process than other
    46  members of the electorate and to elect representatives of their choice.
    47    (2) To the extent practicable, districts shall contain  as  nearly  as
    48  may  be an equal number of inhabitants.  For each district that deviates
    49  from this requirement, the commission shall provide  a  specific  public
    50  explanation as to why such deviation exists.
    51    (3) Each district shall consist of contiguous territory.
    52    (4) Each district shall be as compact in form as practicable.
    53    (5)  Districts shall not be drawn to discourage competition or for the
    54  purpose of favoring or disfavoring incumbents or other particular candi-
    55  dates or political parties. The commission shall  consider  the  mainte-
    56  nance of cores of existing districts, of pre-existing political subdivi-

        A. 6461                             4
     1  sions,  including  counties,  cities,  and  towns, and of communities of
     2  interest.
     3    (6)  [In  drawing  senate districts, towns or blocks which, from their
     4  location may be included in either of two districts, shall be so  placed
     5  as  to  make  said districts most nearly equal in number of inhabitants.
     6  The requirements that senate districts not divide counties or towns,  as
     7  well  as  the 'block-on-border' and 'town-on-border' rules, shall remain
     8  in effect.] Each senate district shall be solely comprised of one county
     9  in its entirety. The number of senate districts shall be consistent with
    10  the number of counties within the state.
    11    During the preparation of  the  redistricting  plan,  the  independent
    12  redistricting  commission shall conduct not less than one public hearing
    13  on proposals for the redistricting of congressional and  state  legisla-
    14  tive  districts  in  each  of the following (i) cities: Albany, Buffalo,
    15  Syracuse, Rochester, and White Plains; and (ii) counties: Bronx,  Kings,
    16  New  York,  Queens,  Richmond,  Nassau,  and Suffolk. Notice of all such
    17  hearings shall be widely published using the best  available  means  and
    18  media a reasonable time before every hearing. At least thirty days prior
    19  to  the  first  public  hearing and in any event no later than September
    20  fifteenth of the year ending in one or as soon as practicable  thereaft-
    21  er, the independent redistricting commission shall make widely available
    22  to  the  public,  in print form and using the best available technology,
    23  its draft redistricting plans, relevant data, and  related  information.
    24  Such  plans,  data,  and  information shall be in a form that allows and
    25  facilitates their use by the public to review, analyze, and comment upon
    26  such plans and to develop alternative redistricting plans for  presenta-
    27  tion  to  the  commission at the public hearings. The independent redis-
    28  tricting commission shall report the findings of all  such  hearings  to
    29  the legislature upon submission of a redistricting plan.
    30    (d)  The  ratio for apportioning senators shall [always be obtained by
    31  dividing the number of inhabitants, excluding aliens, by fifty, and  the
    32  senate  shall  always  be  composed of fifty members, except that if any
    33  county having three or more senators at the time  of  any  apportionment
    34  shall  be  entitled  on such ratio to an additional senator or senators,
    35  such additional senator or senators shall be given  to  such  county  in
    36  addition  to  the fifty senators, and the whole number of senators shall
    37  be increased to that extent] be in the form of assigning one senator for
    38  each county in the state.
    39    The senate districts, including the present ones,  as  existing  imme-
    40  diately before the enactment of a law readjusting or altering the senate
    41  districts,  shall continue to be the senate districts of the state until
    42  the expirations of the terms of the senators then in office, except  for
    43  the  purpose of an election of senators for full terms beginning at such
    44  expirations, and for the formation of assembly districts.
    45    (e) The process for redistricting congressional and state  legislative
    46  districts  established  by  this section and sections five and five-b of
    47  this article shall govern redistricting in  this  state  except  to  the
    48  extent that a court is required to order the adoption of, or changes to,
    49  a redistricting plan as a remedy for a violation of law.
    50    A  reapportionment plan and the districts contained in such plan shall
    51  be in force until the effective date of a plan based upon the subsequent
    52  federal decennial census taken in a year ending in zero unless  modified
    53  pursuant to court order.
    54    § 5-a. For the purpose of apportioning [senate and] assembly districts
    55  pursuant to the foregoing provisions of this article, the term "inhabit-
    56  ants, excluding aliens" shall mean the whole number of persons.

        A. 6461                             5
     1    §  2.  Resolved (if the Senate concur), That the foregoing be referred
     2  to the first  regular  legislative  session  convening  after  the  next
     3  succeeding general election of members of the assembly, and, in conform-
     4  ity with section 1 of article 19 of the constitution, be published for 3
     5  months previous to the time of such election.
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