Every decade, New York state redraws its legislative and congressional districts in a process that critics have derided as skewed toward incumbents and majority parties. The last redistricting ended in 2012, and the years between then and the 2020 federal census — which will provide fresh demographic data before a new round — would arguably include a lot of downtime for the task force that was once assigned to do the work. Yet records show the Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Appointment maintains a large and expensive staff, even though its power to draw district lines was taken away by a constitutional amendment passed three years ago. LATFOR had faced criticism for drawing district lines that favor the candidates of majority Assembly Democrats and Senate Republicans.
The most recent expenditure reports for the Senate and Assembly, running through last September, showed LATFOR employing 17 people, including two Assembly staffers, three Senate staffers and 12 joint Assembly and Senate majority staffers.
The records indicate that between October 2015 and September 2016, nearly $1.5 million was spent on staff and other expenses by LATFOR. But the office has not issued a news release in five years and its website provides no information on any work unfolding there now.