Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that New York is looking at its legal options after it was announced Monday that the state will be losing one congressional seat following the 2020 Census.
The U.S. Census Bureau on Monday said that since New York’s population did not grow as quickly as other parts of the country, the state’s number of seats in the House of Representatives will decrease from 27 to 26.
The state was short just 89 residents of retaining all of its House seats, which Cuomo said begs the question of its accuracy.
“We're looking at legal options because when you're talking about 89, I mean, you've got to have a minor mistake in counting,” Cuomo said.
The loss of this congressional seat will have broad implications when it comes to New York’s political clout in Washington, how much federal funding the state will receive and even on corporations.
The blame game on whom or what is responsible for the loss of this Houses seat is still swirling.
Republicans blame New York’s taxes and business climate as reasons New Yorkers have been driven to the south or west.
Although New York’s population over the last decade has grown by more than 4 percent, there are areas, particularly upstate, that are expected to report a decline in numbers.
Some also have started to blame Cuomo for not releasing funding for census outreach until the summer of 2020, when the census was already underway.
“What’s troubling to me is the state of New York clearly did not go that extra mile,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said to NY1. “They did not put the resources in and they held back money.”
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Cuomo on Tuesday in turn placed some of the blame on the federal government and the prior administration.
“Look, you had a lot going on,” Cuomo said. “You had people who were nervous to come forward, right? You have undocumented people who are nervous to come forward. I do believe the federal government had a chilling effect.”
New York lawmakers established an independent redistricting commission to draw new House district boundary lines for the next 10 years so it is unclear at this time which House seat will be lost.
This map drawing process will begin in September when the Census Bureau makes public the local area population counts.
The commission must draw these new district lines in time for the congressional midterm primary elections in June 2022. However, the state legislature, which is controlled by Democrats, can ultimately overrule whatever decision is made by the commission and draw its own district maps if they choose.