An agreement between five Democrats and five Republicans on the Independent Redistricting Commission would not be the end of the process to redistrict New York’s 26 House seats after the state’s high court last year threw out the current lines. There are about six contested races in New York this year, and any changes in the lines could prove important in determining who wins the seats.

Any map the commission produces would be voted on by the state Legislature, and Democrats who dominate it would have the option of rejecting the lines and instead drafting their own.

But several people familiar with the process have said in recent weeks that a commission proposal could have a chance of winning approval after similar efforts failed in 2022, leading to the current situation.

A compromise plan would be better for the GOP than one crafted entirely by Democrats, and some Republicans might accept lines that lower their chances of picking up a seat or two rather than risk losing to outright manipulation by Democrats.

And Democrats could be content with maps that slightly improve their position, while allowing them to avoid accusations of cleverness and another protracted legal battle.

Additionally, maps drawn by the Legislature would have to be approved by supermajorities that would require near unanimity from Democrats. A bipartisan plan emerging from the commission would need only a simple majority.

Commissioners remained tight-lipped Monday night about what the lines would look like, and several state Legislature officials said they had not yet heard any details.

“There are still some things being finalized,” Jenkins said. “The commission is still working until Thursday.”

State officials familiar with the process have predicted in recent weeks that a compromise plan could make the Syracuse-area seat held by the freshman Republican representative. Brandon Williams friendlier to Democrats.

One of the districts controlled by Republican representatives from the north of the state. Mark Molinaro and Mike Lawler It could also change to help Democrats, but probably not both without hurting other incumbent Democrats in neighboring seats.

Republican-controlled districts in Staten Island and Long Island could remain largely the same as they were in 2022, but there’s also a chance they could face some changes, as well as key changes in the Hudson Valley. New York Republicans were able to gain three seats in 2022 on current lines, giving the GOP a slim majority in the House.

An unanswered question is when the Legislature would act on that.

Last week there was a widespread expectation that the commission would meet later this week. That would allow them to wait to see how Tuesday’s special election to replace ousted Rep. George Santos on Long Island plays out, although commissioners deny that influenced the timing.

“There is no truth to that,” Nesbitt responded Monday.

When it was expected to meet this Wednesday, the Legislature had begun exploring the possibility of extending its work week, which is currently scheduled to end that day in Albany. They could then conclude the process before the weekend.

But they still have no definitive plans to return. The Thursday afternoon meeting schedule means it would be a logistical struggle to vote even on Friday.

Meanwhile, members are scheduled to be off all of next week for President’s Day and the midwinter holidays. But holding a special session next week remains possible, some officials suggested.

If they don’t return early, their next scheduled day in Albany is Monday, Feb. 27, the day congressional candidates must begin collecting petitions.

Although members say they are hopeful for a deal, all Albany residents are aware that a deal between the commission and the Legislature can always fail.

“We came very close in 2021,” said Republican state Sen. Jack Martins, co-chairman of the commission as he attempted to draw lines in its latest version. “And there was an abrupt change on the part of the commission members.”

The commissioners were unable to agree on the guidelines for this round trip.

When the Legislature rejected its first set of maps, the two parties did not even agree to a meeting date to discuss a second draft, a procedural deficiency that led the courts to change the lines the Legislature ultimately drew.

A December decision by the Court of Appeals ordered the commission to pick up where it left off and negotiate a second plan by Feb. 28.

By Sam