Next month voters will decide whether they want to change the way redistricting is done in New York state by voting on a ballet amendment that would change the state’s constitution. But there are different opinions over whether the amendment actually gets rid of gerrymandering or not.
Reform groups are split over the merits of a November ballot item to change the way new legislative and congressional districts are drawn in New York.
Some groups see the amendment as an opportunity to finally end rampant gerrymandering of Senate and Assembly districts in New York. Others fear it would just solidify legislative control of a process that allows legislative leaders to draw districts that suit their own political interests.
Supporters of a November ballot amendment on redistricting say it will help prevent rampant partisan Gerrymandering when the next district lines are drawn in the Senate and the Assembly. The groups Citizens Union and League of Women Voters are making voters aware of the amendment and giving them reasons why voters should approve the measure.
The New York State Board of Elections approved the language for a ballot amendment that would change the way redistricting is done in New York. But not everyone is happy with the wording, or the amendment.
The November ballot amendment would permit the Senate and the Assembly to appoint members to what the amendment describes as an “independent” commission to redraw legislative district lines every ten years, as required by the census.
Government reform groups are beginning their push early to convince voters to reject an amendment on redistricting that will be on the state’s November ballot. They say it’s a sham that does not offer the changes it promises.
Republican John Sharon will run again for state Assembly
John Sharon thinks a one-on-one race will give him a better shot at winning a seat in the New York State Assembly.
Two years ago, Sharon was one of four candidates vying for the 119th Assembly District. Democrat Sam Roberts emerged the winner.
But this year Sharon, a Republican, will try again -- though in a slightly different district. After redistricting, the 119th has become the 128th, but still encompasses the eastern part of Syracuse and its eastern suburbs. That includes Dewitt, where Sharon lives.
The New York Senate and Assembly have approved new district lines, as Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders announced agreement on a number of other unrelated issues, including expansion of the state’s DNA data base, pension reform, and an amendment to allow more gambling in New York.
State lawmakers have missed a deadline to come to an agreement on the redrawing of Congressional district lines, likely leaving a federal judge's plan as the one that will be instituted.
A State Assembly spokesman said Sunday night that an agreement could not be reached and they await the judge's revised plan, which is due out Monday.
U.S. Magistrate Roanne Mann's first draft removes Oswego County from Democrat Bill Owens's district. The county would be split, with half going to Republican Ann-Marie Buerkle and half going to fellow Republican Richard Hanna.
The New York State Assembly has introduced a bill to hold all of the state’s primary elections on June 26th, to correspond with a court order requiring that congressional primary contests be held then. So far, the State Senate wants to hold the state primaries on a separate date, in late August.
The New York State legislature’s proposed redistricted lines have been finally been released to the public. The plans for Senate districts are drawing the most fire, for the addition of a newly created 63rd district and configurations that pit some incumbent minority party Democrats against one another.
The New York State legislature, on its first official day of business, acted in a show of bi- partisanship, to divest the state of investments in Iran, but Democrats and Republicans in the Senate continue to argue over redistricting.
Governor Cuomo, by all accounts, had a successful first year in office accomplishing many of his top goals laid out last January. He implemented his fiscally conservative agenda, including closing a gaping $10 billion dollar budget deficit without imposing any new taxes at the time, and getting the spending plan done on time, a rarity in Albany. Cuomo also convinced skeptical lawmakers to agree to a 2% property tax cap.
Governor Andrew Cuomo is stating in no uncertain terms that he intends to veto the redistricting lines now being devised by a joint legislative commission, because they are not independent and non partisan.