The purpose of this proposal is to reform the process of establishing new state legislative and congressional district lines that the Constitution requires every 10 years. If the proposal is approved, an independent redistricting commission will be established to determine lines for legislative and congressional districts, subject to adoption of the commissions plan by the Legislature and approval by the Governor. Under the current provisions of the Constitution, the Legislature is the entity responsible for establishing these lines.
The proposed amendment would amend sections 4 and 5 and add a new section 5-b to Article 3 of the State Constitution. The new section 5-b would establish an independent redistricting commission to determine lines for state legislative and congressional districts. Each decade beginning in 2020, a 10-member independent redistricting commission will be established. Eight members will be appointed by the four state legislative leaders and the remaining two members will be appointed by the eight legislatively-appointed members. These remaining two members cannot, in the preceding five years, have been enrolled in either of the two major political parties in New York State.
The proposed amendment to sections 4 and 5 and addition of new section 5-b to Article 3 of the State Constitution revises the redistricting procedure for state legislative and congressional districts. The proposed amendment establishes an independent redistricting commission every 10 years beginning in 2020, with two members appointed by each of the four legislative leaders and two members selected by the eight legislative appointees; prohibits legislators and other elected officials from serving as commissioners; establishes principles to be used in creating districts; requires the commission to hold public hearings on proposed redistricting plans; subjects the commissions redistricting plan to legislative enactment; provides that the legislature may only amend the redistricting plan according to the established principles if the commissions plan is rejected twice by the legislature; provides for expedited court review of a challenged redistricting plan; and provides for funding and bipartisan staff to work for the commission. Shall the proposed amendment be approved?