LATFOR, the legislative task force designed to redraw district lines across the state to conform to the 2010 Census, has handed down their proposals.
What does that mean for Forest Hills? A possible round of legislative musical chairs.
Under the proposed lines, state senators Toby Stavisky and Joe Addabbo would be swapping portions of their districts — with Addabbo gaining a big chunk of the neighborhood north of Queens Boulevard.
In addition, while changes in the Assembly for Forest Hills would be less significant, current Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi would lose Forest Hills High School, and a portion of the neighborhood surrounding it, to newly-elected Assemblyman Michael Simanowitz.
Simanowitz won a special election late last year to replace the outgoing Nettie Mayersohn. Under current district lines, he already represents a small portion of northern Forest Hills along the Long Island Expressway. The bulk of the neighborhood is under the purview of Hevesi.
For Stavisky and Addabbo, however, the changes are more significant. Addabbo’s district currently occupies only the southern part of Forest Hills, and Forest Hills Gardens, splitting part of that area with Sen. Shirley Huntley.
Under the proposed lines, Huntley would still keep a part of that area, but Addabbo’s district would jump across Austin Street and Queens Boulevard at 72nd Drive, taking with it much of northern Forest Hills and all of Willow Lake Park, before winding through Kew Gardens.
Ultimately, the map would reduce the number of state senators that cover Forest Hills from four — Malcolm Smith, Shirley Huntley, Joe Addabbo and Toby Stavisky — to three by subtracting Huntley.
Smith’s portion of the neighborhood has certainly shrunk in the proposal, but the neighborhood is still, ultimately, divided three ways.
The proposed lines are not permanent, and could be vetoed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo — who has said in recent interviews that he plans to do just that.
If that happens, the district lines across the state would then head to arbitration in the state Supreme Court.
The proposed maps for Simanowitz, Hevesi, Stavisky and Addabbo are attached in PDF form at right, above.
More on this story as it develops.