Details emerge on possible redistricting amendment

Michael Gianaris

March 02, 2012

An editorial by The Empire talks about the discussed ammendment to the constitution that would bring about change to the redistricting process. Michael Gianaris and other critics, however, point out that the proposed ammendment would still allow legislatures to have final say, which defeats the purpose of redistricting reform.

The Times-Union’s Casey Seiler has a piece up today about the emerging details of a possible deal between Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature for a constitutional amendment to change the state’s redistricting process.


“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,” Seiler writes.


But now one of the sponsors of the bills from last year, Democratic Senator Michael Gianaris from Queens, is vocally criticizing an amendment that would codify the legislatures influence in a new redistricting amendment.


“I have trouble believing what I read in the paper [about the proposed amendment language] would pass the straight-face test,” Gianaris said in a phone interview this morning. “You can be sure that the senate Democrats are firmly in support of truly independent and fair redistricting. What was proposed yesterday would be a disaster.”


Gianaris appears to be in the Plan B camp we identified earlier this week, which would like to see the legislature cut out of future redistricting process. The plan details floated in a series of op-eds and statements would look more like the process California now uses.


Read the full article here.