Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has thrown down the gauntlet on prison gerrymandering.
Background: When the state draws up its districts to see which illustrious folk will represent you in the Assembly, Senate and in the House of Representatives, they try to aim for roughly the same amount of residents in each district.
But what about prisoners? Should they be counted where they're incarcerated (Republican position) or at their last down address (Democratic position)?
A 2010 law says: their last known address (usually in New York City, taking them away from districts up here in the north country). But Republicans have sued to stop this (tragedy/thing that should happen).
But one thing that lawsuits aren't known for is their speediness, and the state is in the midst of drawing the districts. What to do in the meantime?
So far, the people doing the drawing have said: Let's put this issue aside for now.
And now, Assembly Democrats are saying: Nuh-uh!
"The Assembly Majority believes that complying with the law as written is not only the prudent thing to do, it is also the right thing to do," Mr. Silver and Assemblyman John McEneny, the co-chair of the drawing committee, said in a joint statement just nowish.
To that end, they've been having Assembly staff figure out just where those prisoners are.
The question is: Will LATFOR (the clunky for the legislative task force that's doing the drawing) listen?
"We urge our task force members to join with us, ensuring compliance with both the letter and intent of the law," the assemblymen said in a news release. "Regardless of any personal political stance on the prison count issue, we encourage all task force members to join us in our effort to fully comply with the law as it is written."