Friday, January 06, 2012
Brooklyn State Senator Martin Dilan has a set of somewhat rhetorical questions for his Republican colleagues reported plans to try increasing the chamber's size from 62 to 63. In a statement released this afternoon, Dilan, who sits on the bicameral committee responsible for drawing new district lines, preempted a rumor that Republicans could be releasing draft maps today.
"Comments made earlier this week by Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos indicated that a draft redistricting plan will include a 63rd Senate District and that it could be introduced as early as today. I hope that it is not the case, as such a determination at this time would be disconcerting to say the least, and an affront to our State Constitution and a deeply vested public," Dilan said.
Dilan pointed out that the recent agreement on prisoner reallocation has so far not been finalized, and wondered how the Senate Republicans could put together maps without knowing where to count the more than 46,000 prisoners.
“I hope for the sake of all New Yorkers that this act is not a sign of what’s to come as the redistricting process moves forward," the Senator said.
Friday, July 29, 2011
After getting a letter earlier this weekfrom a coalition strongly urging the state's redistricting committee to comply with the law, one of its members, Brooklyn senator Martin Malavé Dilan is saying the senate GOP is dragging its feet on counting prisoners where they're from, not where they're incarcerated. Dilan, who is on the LATFOR committee, says the committee has all the information it needs, but hasn't responded to requests for update on compliance.
“There is absolutely no reason, excuse or legal reason for the majority’s defiance of state law,” Dilan said in a statement. “LATFOR has the resources, time and legal obligation to comply with the law.” The letter was sent to Senator Michael Nozzolio of Seneca Fall, co-chair of LATFOR.
Last night, appearing on YNN's "Capital Tonight," the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program Director Wendy Weiser said she believed "there is certainly no legal justification that LATFOR could put forward for not complying with the law" and hinted that a lawsuit might be in order should LATFOR not comply.
That would, of course, be the second suit brought against LATFOR. The senate Republicans are currently suing to keep the prisoner counting law from being enacted, saying the law was passed illegally and will disenfranchise voters that house and count prisoners, counting them in their population.
The senate Republicans have good reason to not want prisoners counted where they're from, as many prisoners are in upstate Republican districts. The population drain would benefit mostly downstate, Democratic districts. This would only exacerbate any "nonpartisan" redistricting process that would likely add Democratic seats to the senate.
Nozzolio's office is expected to provide a statement later.
UPDATE: Statement from Senator Nozzolio's office.
"It is very surprising to learn of Senator Dilan’s partisan statements regarding the redistricting process. These comments appear reckless, disingenuous and completely without merit.
I firmly believe that all the members of LATFOR are strongly committed to complying with every State and Federal law and establishing a transparent and fair redistricting process. There have been no substantive issues or votes requiring Commission approval at this point. For Senator Dilan to suggest otherwise is totally inaccurate.
Senator Dilan’s baseless attack is nothing more than a political smokescreen and is the ultimate misuse of the redistricting process for political purposes."
Monday, July 18, 2011
Newly released Census data makes it possible for New York's prisoners to be counted at their home address rather than their jail cell. But internal divisions in the state redistricting committee and a lingering lawsuit leave the reapportionment process in doubt.