New York Democrats Pass New Congressional Map

Washington, D.C. — The Democratic majority in the New York Legislature voted today to pass a new congressional map, which was promptly signed into law by Gov. Kathy Hochul (D). The map passed is the same one that the Legislature proposed yesterday after rejecting the map drawn by the state’s bipartisan Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC).

The state Senate passed the map first in a 45-17 vote, with three Republicans joining every Democrat. The Assembly immediately followed suit in a 115-33 vote, with a number of Republicans voting in favor of the map. The vote happened after Hochul allowed the Legislature to expedite a vote on the new map, along with a bill to change the timeline for candidates seeking office to file a petition to run. 

The Legislature’s vote is the latest — and close to final — move in a long saga to introduce new, fair congressional districts in the Empire State. In January of 2022, the IRC deadlocked in the drawing of a new congressional map for 2024, as it is mandated by New York law. The Legislature stepped in to pass their own map, but a lawsuit was filed to compel the IRC to “fulfill their constitutional duty” to come up with their own bipartisan congressional map.

After the IRC voted 9-1 to pass their own drawn map to the Legislature, the Democratic majority in both chambers voted against them, with Senate Majority Leader Michael Gianaris (D) telling reporters that the IRC’s map “run afoul of the constitutional guidelines that exist.” But the map drawn by the Legislature didn’t change much from the IRC’s map, with the biggest changes happening in the state’s 1st, 3rd, 19th and 22nd districts. 

Some redistricting experts called the Legislature’s map a mild Democratic gerrymander, but others, like Harvard law professor Nicholas Stephanopoulos, said the map is “close to perfect in its partisan neutrality.”

In a statement, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D), who represents New York’s 8th District, praised the Legislature’s map: “The state legislature has adopted a bipartisan congressional map that more meaningfully delivers the type of fair representation that the people of New York State deserve. 

This post was updated on Wednesday, Feb. 28 at 5:30 p.m. EST to reflect Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) signing the map into law.

Read more about the IRC’s map here. 

Learn more about the lawsuit that led to the map redraw here.