Assembly exploring options on fate of New York’s congressional maps

By Published On: February 23rd, 2024Categories: Capitol Notes

After meeting for more than two hours on Friday morning, the Assembly Democratic majority hasn’t decided whether they’ll approve or reject new congressional maps proposed by the state’s bipartisan redistricting commission, according to four sources familiar with the deliberations.

The private conference concluded with Democratic members told to expect a lengthy redistricting discussion on Monday, when they’re scheduled to return to Albany for legislative session, and to be prepared to stick around the Capitol through Thursday next week. The Senate Democratic Conference met privately earlier this week to discuss the future of New York’s congressional boundaries, but have not revealed their plans for the future.

For more on how this process could play out, check out the latest Dispatches from Planet Albany episode.

Both houses of the state Legislature are required to hold a vote on the proposed maps from the redistricting commission, which would need a two-thirds majority vote in order to be enacted. Republicans in both houses are expected to vote in favor of the commission’s work, which means they could be adopted with only a fraction of the Democratic majorities voting in favor. The general wisdom around the Capitol is that the Democrats will be largely united in whatever route they go down.

Time is not on the side of those who want the legislature to draw new congressional maps, as the petitioning season for congressional candidates is scheduled to begin on Tuesday. State lawmakers, with the support of Gov. Kathy Hochul, could change the ballot qualifications, potentially lowering the required signatures, extending the petitioning window, or both. The primary calendar could also be redone, but it’s not clear what kind of appetite Democrats have for repeating the experience of 2022.