I need your help. Prison gerrymandering gives extra political power to legislators who have prisons in their districts. We put numbers on the problem and sparked a movement to protect our democratic process from the overgrown prison system.

Can you help us continue the fight? Thank you.

—Peter Wagner, Executive DirectorDonate

New York prison-based gerrymandering bill

This is the bill text that passed as part XX of the revenue budget A9710-D. It passed the Assembly on July 1, and the Senate on August 3. The Governor signed it on August 11, 2010. A technical amendment, A11597/S8415, passed on the same dates.-Peter Wagner


    17                                   PART XX
    18    Section 1.  Section 71 of the correction law is amended  by  adding  a
    19  new subdivision 8 to read as follows:
    20    8. (a) In each year in which the federal decennial census is taken but
    21  in  which  the  United  States bureau of the census does not implement a
    22  policy of reporting incarcerated persons at each such person's  residen-
    23  tial  address  prior  to  incarceration,  the department of correctional
    24  services shall by July first of that same year deliver to  the  legisla-
    25  tive  task force on demographic research and reapportionment the follow-
    26  ing information for each incarcerated person subject to the jurisdiction
    27  of the department and located in this state on the date  for  which  the
    28  decennial census reports population:
    29    (i) A unique identifier, not including the name, for each such person;
    30    (ii)  The  street  address  of the correctional facility in which such
    31  person was incarcerated at the time of such report;
    32    (iii) The residential address of such person  prior  to  incarceration
    33  (if any); and
    34    (iv) Any additional information as the task force may specify pursuant
    35  to law.
    36    (b)  The  department  shall provide the information specified in para-
    37  graph (a) of this subdivision in such form as the legislative task force
    38  on demographic research and reapportionment shall specify.
    39    § 2. Section 83-m of the legislative law is amended by  adding  a  new
    40  subdivision 13 to read as follows:
    41    13.  (a) The task force shall specify the form in which the department
    42  of correctional services shall provide such information required  to  be
    43  reported  to  the  task  force  pursuant to subdivision eight of section
    44  seventy-one of the correction law.
    45    (b) Upon receipt of such  information  for  each  incarcerated  person
    46  subject  to the jurisdiction of the department of correctional services,
    47  the task force shall determine the census  block  corresponding  to  the
    48  street address of each such person's residential address prior to incar-
    49  ceration  (if  any),  and  the  census block corresponding to the street
    50  address of the correctional facility  in  which  such  person  was  held
    51  subject  to  the jurisdiction of such department. Until such time as the
    52  United States bureau of the census shall implement a policy of reporting
    53  each such incarcerated person at such person's residential address prior
    54  to incarceration, the task force shall use such data to develop a  data-

        S. 6610--C                         113                        A. 9710--D
     1  base  in  which all incarcerated persons shall be, where possible, allo-
     2  cated  for  redistricting  purposes,  such  that  each  geographic  unit
     3  reflects   incarcerated  populations  at  their  respective  residential
     4  addresses  prior  to  incarceration rather than at the addresses of such
     5  correctional facilities.  For all incarcerated persons whose residential
     6  address prior to incarceration was outside of the state, or for whom the
     7  task force cannot identify their prior residential address, and for  all
     8  persons  confined  in a federal correctional facility on census day, the
     9  task force shall consider those persons  to  have  been  counted  at  an
    10  address  unknown  and  persons  at  such  unknown  address  shall not be
    11  included in such data set created pursuant to this paragraph.  The  task
    12  force  shall  develop  and maintain such amended population data set and
    13  shall make such amended data set  available  to  local  governments,  as
    14  defined  in  subdivision eight of section two of the municipal home rule
    15  law, and for the drawing of assembly and senate districts.  The assembly
    16  and senate districts shall be drawn using such amended  population  data
    17  set.
    18    (c)  Notwithstanding  any  other  provision  of  law,  the information
    19  required to be provided pursuant to subdivision eight of section  seven-
    20  ty-one  of the correction law shall be treated as confidential and shall
    21  not be disclosed by the task force except as aggregated by census  block
    22  for purpose specified in this subdivision.
    23    §  3.  The opening paragraph, subclause (i.) of clause (a.) and clause
    24  (c.) of subparagraph 13 of paragraph a of subdivision 1 of section 10 of
    25  the municipal home rule law, as added by chapter  834  of  the  laws  of
    26  1969, are amended to read as follows:
    27    The apportionment of its legislative body and, only in connection with
    28  such  action  taken  pursuant  to this subparagraph, the composition and
    29  membership of such body, the terms of office  of  members  thereof,  the
    30  units  of local government or other areas from which representatives are
    31  to be chosen and the voting powers of individual members of such  legis-
    32  lative  body.  [The]  Except for the equal apportionment requirements in
    33  subclause (i.) of clause (a.) and  clause  (c.)  of  this  subparagraph,
    34  which  shall  apply generally to any local government, the power granted
    35  by this subparagraph shall be in addition to and not in substitution for
    36  any other power and the provisions of this subparagraph shall apply only
    37  to local governments which adopt a plan of apportionment thereunder.
    38    (i.) The plan shall provide substantially equal weight for  [all]  the
    39  [voters] population of that local government in the allocation of repre-
    40  sentation in the local legislative body.
    41    (c.)  As  used  in  this subparagraph the term "population" shall mean
    42  residents, citizens, or registered voters. For such purposes, no  person
    43  shall  be deemed to have gained or lost a residence, or to have become a
    44  resident of a local government,  as  defined  in  subdivision  eight  of
    45  section two of this chapter, by reason of being subject to the jurisdic-
    46  tion  of  the department of correctional services and present in a state
    47  correctional facility pursuant to such jurisdiction. A  population  base
    48  for  such  a  plan of apportionment shall utilize the latest statistical
    49  information obtainable from an official enumeration  done  at  the  same
    50  time  for all the residents, citizens, or registered voters of the local
    51  government.  Such a plan may allocate, by  extrapolation  or  any  other
    52  rational  method,  such latest statistical information to representation
    53  areas or units of local government, provided that  any  plan  containing
    54  such an allocation shall have annexed thereto as an appendix, a detailed
    55  explanation of the allocation.

        S. 6610--C                         114                        A. 9710--D
     1    §  4.  Severability.  If any section, subdivision, paragraph, subpara-
     2  graph, clause or other part of this act or its application is held to be
     3  invalid by final judgment of a court  of  competent  jurisdiction,  such
     4  invalidity shall not be deemed to impair or otherwise affect the validi-
     5  ty  of  the remaining provisions or applications of this act that can be
     6  given effect without such invalid provision  or  application,  but  such
     7  invalidity  shall  be  confined  to the section, subdivision, paragraph,
     8  subparagraph, clause or other  part  of  this  act  or  its  application
     9  directly  held  invalid thereby, which are declared to be severable from
    10  the remainder of this act. It is declared to be the intent of the legis-
    11  lature that this act would have been enacted but for  any  such  invalid
    12  provision or application thereof.
    13    §  5.  This act shall take effect immediately; provided, however, that
    14  the amendments to section 83-m of the legislative law  made  by  section
    15  two of this act shall not affect the repeal of such section and shall be
    16  deemed repealed therewith.
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