New York lawmakers this month will hold a public hearing on the revamped redistricting process as the process for redrawing boundaries for legislative districts looms next year.
The hearing is scheduled for next Wednesday, July 15, and will be conducted jointly with Assembly and Senate lawmakers.
“How district lines are drawn is crucial to ensure our democracy functions properly and serves all people. For too long, redistricting has been a partisan game that has polarized our country,” Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said. “As we approach the next redistricting, it is crucial that we establish a process focused on fairness. This hearing is an important first step to finally achieving this important principle."
Congressional and legislative districts are redrawn once a decade based on the most recent Census. The process has been controlled by majority Democrats in the state Assembly and Republicans in the state Senate for decades in New York.
The new redistricting process is expected to be somewhat different, with a new constitutional amendment in place meant to add a dose of independence to how the lines are drawn.
Good-government advocates who have watched the process closely in previous years applauded the announcement of the hearing, seen as a first step in the process.
“Once-in-a-decade critical decisions will soon be made on how best to adjust political boundaries,” said Blair Horner, the director of the New York Public Interest Research Group. “This public discussion will kick off how fairly and independently that process will work. NYPIRG applauds the Legislature for taking this first step.”