State Senator John J. Bonacic (R/I/C – Mt. Hope), praised Senate Democratic Leader John Sampson’s support for non-partisan redistricting and urged the Democratic Leader to call the Senate back into session for an immediate vote on it.
Bonacic has been the lead sponsor for years in the Senate, of a Constitutional Amendment for non partisan redistricting. He is also one of two Republican co-sponsors of re-districting legislation, sponsored by Democratic Senator David Valesky of Syracuse.
“Joe Bruno, a Republican, and Senators Malcolm Smith and John Sampson, both Democrats, have refused to allow a vote on my legislation for non-partisan redistricting. Now, Senator Sampson is on board, which I appreciate. Senator Sampson should call the Senate back, for an immediate vote on this and other reforms– and put the Assembly on the spot,” Bonacic said.
“Whether it is the school tax cap legislation, or a State spending cap, or an unwillingness to discuss fair Senate and Assembly District lines, the problem lies with the Assembly’s unwillingness to engage. Nobody has taken on Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver since former Assemblymen Jake Gunther and Michael Bragman did years ago. Win or lose, speaking up against the powerful in Albany is the right thing to do since the 3 men in a room system, is the source of much of Albany’s dysfunction. Mr. Silver’s power comes from his members – those who elect them. John Samspon, in the Senate, is at least talking the talk – now he needs to call the Senate back and pass this legislation,” Bonacic said.
Bonacic noted that Valesky’s legislation has 22 sponsors, including 20 of the Senate’s 32 Democrats, but the Democratic leadership of the Senate has refused to allow a vote on it. “Now the excuses have run out. The Senate Democratic Leader is on board. Let’s vote for the reform now,” Bonacic concluded.
The district lines for New York’s Congressional and State Legislative Districts are drawn every ten years based on census data.