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Assembly speaker reaffirms call for redistricting panel to redraw maps

Heastie WEB

New York state Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie defended his proposal to reassemble the state’s Independent Redistricting Commission to redraw state Assembly maps after they were invalidated by courts earlier this year.

A judge in Manhattan asked lawyers for legislative leaders, including Heastie, and plaintiffs who brought the original lawsuit invalidating the maps for proposals on how to redraw the Assembly districts for the 2024 election cycle.

In briefs to the court last week, lawyers for the Legislature suggested reassembling the redistricting panel, which deadlocked and failed to present a second set of maps to the Legislature as provided in the state Constitution.

Heastie said he believes the panel will be able to agree on maps this time if reassembled.

"The 10 IRC members are all from New York, they know the communities and I think if they're tasked with that, I think they will be up to the task,” Heastie said.

A separate lawsuit filed in Albany County is asking a judge to order the commission to redraw congressional maps. Heastie said he would support the judge doing so.

"Yeah, I would be supportive if the judge in Albany said that they would like to have the congressional maps redrawn, I would be supportive of that,” Heastie said.

Parties in that case will appear before a judge for oral arguments next month.

Vaughn Golden has been reporting across New York since 2016. Working as a freelancer while studying journalism and economics at Ithaca College, Vaughn has reported for a number of outlets including the Albany Times Union, New York Post, and NPR among others. Prior to coming to WSKG full-time, Vaughn was a reporter for the Watertown Daily Times. Vaughn now covers government and politics for WSKG.