The bipartisan committee tasked with redrawing the political districts in the state is expected to announce today that it will miss its Sept. 15 deadline and will need to appoint a ninth member in order to get the job done by Nov. 30.
“This happened during the previous two cycles,” Sen. President Donald Williams, D-Brooklyn said Monday. The Reapportionment Committee, which is appointed once every 10 years after the U.S. Census, required additional time in both 2001 and 1991.
Williams, one of the eight members of the committee, said it’s too soon to say how many of the 151 House and 36 Senate districts will be redrawn since the final product will be an overall agreement when it’s completed. However, he said there’s no disagreement currently holding up the process.
“There has been a tremendous amount of data collected,” Williams said. “We’re just discussing potential scenarios.”
He said the hard part has been making sure each of the five Congressional districts has exactly 714,819 people in it. The House and Senate districts can vary by about 5 percent, but the baseline population will be 23,678 residents in each House district and 99,280 in each Senate district.
The last thing the committee wants to happen is to have a judge decide, Williams said.
Williams said he was confident Gov. Dannel P. Malloy will reappoint all of the current members. The four Republicans and four Democrats will then have to agree on a ninth member.
Sadly, the man who has been appointed as the ninth member in previous years, former House Speaker Nelson Brown, died last week at the age of 89.
Williams expressed confidence the two parties could reach an agreement over who they would appoint as their ninth.
While they haven’t met as a committee since Aug. 17, Williams said individual members have been working diligently together to draw the map. They just need more time.
Click here to read Hugh’s report from the Aug. 17 meeting.
Today’s meeting will be held at 1 p.m.