New York Democrats are wasting no time presenting a new set of congressional maps after the state Legislature on Monday rejected the newest proposed boundaries drawn by the state's Independent Redistricting Commission.

State Senate Deputy Majority Leader Mike Gianaris and Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski have introduced legislation in their respective chambers that would make some changes to the maps the commission approved last week.

The biggest changes would be on Long Island, where more of eastern Suffolk County would be ceded from the 2nd Congrssional District, represented by Republican Rep. Andrew Garbarino, to the 1st District, represented by Republican Rep. Nick LaLota. Part of western Suffolk County would shift the 2nd District to the 3rd, soon to be represented by Democrat Tom Suozzi when he is sworn in this week after winning a special election to replace former Rep. George Santos.

Across upstate, much like the IRC’s proposal, the biggest change from the current lines should this map be enacted would be in the 22nd District, which is anchored by the city of Syracuse and represented by Republican Rep. Brandon Williams. It would include all of Onondaga and Madison counties, southern Oneida County, southern Cayuga County and northern Cortland County.

Democrat Pat Ryan's 18th District would lose more of Ulster County to Republican Marc Molinaro's 19th District. Democrat Paul Tonko's 20th District would cede more of Saratoga County to Elise Stefanik's 21st District but would still include the city of Saratoga Springs, but gain a small sliver of Rensselaer County.

Gianaris told Spectrum News 1 on Monday that he spearheaded the state Senate vote against the commission’s maps for several reasons, including counties being divided, as well as his suspicion that certain lines were drawn to protect incumbents. The bipartisan commission has denied this. Republicans had expressed support for the commission’s maps.

The Legislature’s thumbs down of the commission’s maps comes as petitioning for congressional maps began on Tuesday. Without official maps, congressional candidates for the 2024 elections don't know what the districts they'll be running in will look like. A prolonged process coupled with any sort of legal challenge the GOP may make could, like in 2022, completely disrupt New York’s primary elections calendar.

Democrats in the Legislature drawing their own maps is what led to this point, with the state Court of Appeals rejecting their maps in 2022, appointing a special master to draw the ones currently in place, then in 2023 allowing the Independent Redistricting Commission another chance to draw new maps.


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