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State redistricting committee releases maps to public

The New York State Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment released new district maps for all 213 legislative seats Thursday afternoon, creating a new seat in the state senate, eliminating a seat in the assembly and shifting district lines across the state.

The state is required by law to redraw district lines for the state legislature every 10 years based on population shifts. The committee, made up of six members, including four legislators and two non-legislators, uses census data to create the maps.

The new district lines will cause significant changes in Central New York, particularly in the state senate.

The biggest change comes in the 49th district, represented by State Sen. David Valesky. First of all, it’s now the 53rd district instead of the 49th; according to the proposed changes, the new 49th district would cover Fulton, Herkimer, Hamilton and Saratoga counties, making a significant shift eastward. Valesky will cover roughly the same area with some tweaks.

“That was a big point of confusion at first,” said Jessica DeCerce, Valesky’s press officer. “When they first posted the maps, they said they had also updated the list of senators and their districts, but they still had the old district numbers, so it looked like Sen. Valesky was going to be out representing Eastern New York, but he’s not. He’ll still be here.”

The proposed district map also leaves the city of Syracuse out of the new 50th district, taking it out of the representation of State Sen. John DeFrancisco. Instead, his coverage would include the towns of Camillus, Cicero, Clay, DeWitt, Elbridge, Geddes, Lafayette, Lysander, Marcellus, Otisco, Tully, Salina, Skaneateles, Spafford, Lysander and Van Buren in Onondaga County and the towns of Brutus, Cato, Ira and Sennett as well as the city of Auburn in Cayuga County. That part of Cayuga County had previously been part of the 49th district.

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