Press-Republican

Local News

January 27, 2012

Proposed state Assembly and Senate districts released

Few major changes planned for those in the North Country

PLATTSBURGH — The proposed new state Senate and Assembly districts offer some changes for North Country representatives but no major developments.

"I don't think the North Country is really hurt by this," Sen. Betty Little (R-Queensbury) said.

Little represents the 45th District, which includes six counties, from Clinton and Franklin in the north to Warren and Washington in the south. Under the plan released Thursday by the Legislative Task Force on Redistricting, Little's district would lose all of Hamilton County and part of Washington County.

She would gain part of St. Lawrence County.

In all, she would lose about 14,000 people, with the total population of the district dropping to 293,101.

Most of the people Little would lose will be inmates in North Country jails that will not be counted this time around. Inmates were counted in the 2002 redistricting process, but a court ruling since then has said that they must be counted at their last place of address before they were sent to jail.

NEW NYC DISTRICT

Most Senate districts in the state would lose large numbers of people as the Task Force tries to fill a new district created in the New York City area to bump up the number of districts from 62 to 63.

"I hate to lose Hamilton County because I've represented them for 10 years and have built some good relationships," Little said.

As for gaining six towns in the eastern part of St. Lawrence County, she said those communities are very similar to those in neighboring Franklin County, which she has represented for a decade.

"I think all people care about is being well represented, and I will do my best to ensure that they are," she said.

'TOUGH ISSUES THERE'

Little is not the only North Country representative whose district would no longer include Hamilton County. Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward (R-Willsboro), of the 113th District, would also lose the sparsely-populated county that lies to the west of Essex and Warren counties.

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