The Democratic members of the commission tasked with drawing new legislative boundaries for the state Legislature and House of Representatives in New York said Monday they were unlikely to reach an agreement on a set of maps with their Republican counterparts.
The failure by the commission to come up with a compromise set of maps means the Democratic-controlled state Senate and state Assembly will have the power to draw the maps for themselves as well as members of the House in New York.
"We reiterate our commitment to a redistricting process driven by public input and hope that the Legislature will consider the input that the Commission has solicited and collected in its work," the redistricting commission members said in a statement. "Moreover, we are proud to embody the diversity of New York, as the Constitution calls for, and believe our diversity is reflected in our approach to public input and the line-drawing process. We urge the Legislature to approach their duty in the same spirit."
The Republicans on the commission, meanwhile, blamed the Democratic members.
"The Democrat appointed commissioners have no incentive to work cooperatively toward a consensus plan and, in fact, they purposely scuttled the process so that the determination of district lines would be tossed back to a legislature controlled by democrat super-majorities," they said in a statement.
The commission had been established as a constitutional "reform" — a way of removing the process from the control of the state Legislature. Often state lawmakers had been accused of drawing lines meant to maximize the leverage of those already in power and allow elected officials, in effect, to choose their own voters.
But lawmakers in Albany this month rejected an initial and competing set of maps drawn by Republican and Democratic members of the commission.
The development on Monday comes as Democrats nationally are expected to suffer deep losses in midterm elections; a Democratic-leaning House map in New York could aid the party's efforts in trying to staunch the electoral bleeding expected this November.