Times Union reports on negotiations between the Governor, Assembly, and Senate for a possible constitutional ammendment that would create an independent redistricting body. Many believe the new ammendment will not keep legislatures from influencing the redistricting process, including Senator Gianaris, who believes that "if the final product still leaves the Legislature with the final say, we’ve achieved nothing.”
A possible constitutional change to New York’s redistricting process would create a 10-member independent panel to draw the state’s political lines beginning in 2021, but would allow the Legislature to make final tweaks to the plan if the Assembly and Senate fail to pass it after two tries.
In broad outline, the plan picks up some of the reform ideas previously presented in bills sponsored by Sen. Michael Gianaris, D-Queens — a former Assemblyman — and Sen. David Valesky, D-Oneida. But those measures were intended a compromise that would have maintained tacit legislative control of the process, not a permanent constitutional solution.
After hearing details of the plan, Gianaris called it woefully insufficient.
“The entire benefit of a constitutional amendment would be to take this process out of the hands of the Legislature,” said Gianaris. “That is the reform we’ve all been fighting for for years and years. If the final product still leaves the Legislature with the final say, we’ve achieved nothing.”
Read the full article here.