State figures have our local elected leaders losing thousands of residents for the purpose of redistricting because of a new law that counts prisoners as residents of their last known address, rather than the prison in which they reside.
At the end of the day, this basically just means that the districts in which we live might get bigger, our local leaders will have to travel further or our "voice in Albany," as that sort of nebulous concept goes, will be diluted (err, or brought to where it should be, depending on where you stand).
Some of those local leaders, including a Jefferson County legislator, a mayor in St. Lawrence County, and Republican Sens. Patty Ritchie and Joe Griffo, have joined a lawsuit seeking to change that.
But until something happens with that lawsuit, it's full steam ahead with counting prisoners at their last known addresses.
According to a state Assembly report provided to me today and reported on already by the Times-Union and the Daily News' (and Times alum) Kenneth Lovett, the following legislators would lose the following number of residents:
Assemblywoman Addie Russell, D-Theresa: 1,872
Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush, R-Black River: 1,481
Sen. Joe Griffo, R-Rome: 1,842
Sen. Patty Ritchie, R-Heuvelton: 3,231.
The biggest population losers are our neighbors just to the east. Assemblywoman Janet Duprey would lose an astounding 7,715 residents, more than any other member of the Assembly. Sen. Betty Little, R-Queensbury, tops her chamber, losing 11,610 residents. Ouch!
In addition, Mr. Blankenbush, along with Ms. Duprey and Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward, called for LATFOR to hold hearings in the north country. The closest LATFOR came was Syracuse, more than an hour from Watertown.