New York State Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo gives his State...

New York State Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo gives his State of the Budget speech in the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany. (Jan. 17, 2012) Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

ALBANY -- State legislators have struck a deal to revise Senate and Assembly districts across New York and are preparing a constitutional amendment to change how redistricting is handled in the future, officials said.

The new maps were to be printed late Sunday night.

Legislators have not reached an agreement on redrawing congressional district lines, however. New York must reduce its congressional delegation from 29 seats to 27. Earlier this month, a federal judge proposed a set of maps for the delegation that could become law if the Senate and Assembly don't reach a deal.

"We are printing state lines after adjusting them in consultation with the governor," Assembly spokesman Michael Whyland said Sunday night. "We are also submitting a proposal for long-term reform."

State Senate spokesman Scott Reif confirmed that the new maps and amendment were being printed but declined to comment further.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has not yet signed off on the deal and wants to review the proposed legislative maps and the constitutional amendment, spokesman Josh Vlasto said.

Legislative and congressional district lines must be redrawn every 10 years to accommodate population changes reflected in the U.S. Census. Watchdog groups such as the League of Women Voters and Common Cause have long criticized the process in New York as too partisan, with the parties in power -- Republicans in the State Senate, Democrats in the Assembly -- drawing lines that favor incumbents.

As disclosed last week, the new maps wouldn't significantly change the nine Senate districts on Long Island, all held by Republicans. The plan would create a new Senate district in the Albany area, which would bring the state total to 63 seats.

In the Assembly, the redistricting agreement will bolster the Island's delegation by adding a 22nd seat. But it will drop controversial proposals by Democrats to dramatically alter some Republican-held seats.

The plan for a constitutional amendment to change the redistricting process would hand it to a 10-member panel of nonlegislators selected primarily by legislators. The panel would draw new maps, but the legislature would still have final approval.

While some watchdog groups such as Citizens Union have said the proposal is acceptable, others such as Common Cause said it wouldn't provide independent redistricting and would give lawmakers political cover for adopting partisan-driven lines this year.

A constitutional amendment must be approved by the legislature twice and by voters in a referendum once. Redistricting isn't likely to occur again until 2022.

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