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Albany Lawmakers Work Into The Night On "Mega Deal"

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Lawmakers in Albany agreed Wednesday to expand the state's DNA database, meaning that New Yorkers convicted of felonies and even minor offenses must submit a DNA sample to authorities.

Previously, only people convicted of certain felonies were required to provide a sample.

In a statement, the governor's office said the bill also allows increased access to DNA testing to defendants both before and after conviction under "appropriate circumstances."

New York is the first state in the country to create an "all crimes" database.

Meanwhile, state lawmakers were prepared to work far into Wednesday night to reach agreements on other major legislative issues, such as new Senate and Assembly redistricting lines.

The committee in charge of the redistricting process, known as LATFOR, held its final meeting earlier Wednesday. It signed off on the maps, which are accompanied by an amendment to eliminate the committee.

Members of the black and Puerto Rican caucus threatened legal action against the proposed lines.

NY1 learned late Wednesday that State Senator Malcolm Smith would be the only Democrat to vote for them.

State lawmakers also passed a constitutional amendment to change the process of redistricting, which would take effect in 10 years' time.

Another point of contention was the effective repeal of a 2010 law counting prisoners in their home districts, not where they are incarcerated. The measure was codified through LATFOR but the amendment has no provision to enforce it.

The lawmakers were also working on a deal on pension reform. By late Wednesday, possible agreements included an exemption for police and fire department employees and the dropping of a controversial defined contribution plan, which would be like a 401k.

The State Assembly also passed late Wednesday a constitutional amendment to legalize casino gambling.

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