Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said a judge’s decision on redistricting won’t have much of an impact on the ongoing line-drawing procedure, saying its “not an unusual part of the process.”
U.S. District Court Judge Dora Irizarry late Monday called for the appointment of a three-judge panel to pick a special master, who would then be tasked with drawing up “a redistricting plan that is in compliance with federal and state constitutional and statutory law.”
She criticized state lawmakers, who have a task force that redraws state and congressional district lines every ten years, for dragging their feet on the process.
“In terms of a special master, I don’t think it’s going to happen for the (state) Legislature in terms of drawing the lines,” Skelos told reporters today. “In terms of Congress, it’s happened before. Last redistricting, a special master put out a special plan, then the Legislature adopted its own. And that’s what we’re running under right now.”
The pressure is on because of a compressed political schedule in New York, especially when it comes to congressional lines. The Legislature’s task force has yet to put out any draft congressional maps, and a federal judge moved the state’s federal primary up to June 26.
“Certainly, with the congressional primary date set at June 26, it adds a little more pressure to make sure we get something done in the next two weeks,” Skelos said. “And I believe we can.”
Skelos said he hopes congressional maps will be out in the next “week to 10 days.”
Here’s Skelos addressing reporters in Albany: