Griffo calls on governor to veto legislation on redistricting process

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UTICA — State Sen. Joseph Griffo, R-47, Rome, is calling on Gov. Kathy Hochul to veto legislation that he says would undermine the redistricting process. 

Once a decade, New York is required to draw new district lines that reflect population and demographic changes reported in the most recent Census. Unlike in previous years when politicians drew those lines, more than 2 million New Yorkers voted in a 2014 referendum to give that responsibility to a new “Independent Redistricting Commission.”  

The commission, which was the result of a bipartisan effort between Senate Republicans and Assembly Democrats that was supported by the former governor, ensured that the redistricting process was independent and bipartisan. 

Earlier this month, New Yorkers rejected a constitutional amendment that would have allowed the legislative majorities to redraw district lines.  

Despite this rejection, Senate Bill No. 7150, which was not supported by Griffo, was delivered to the governor on Nov. 12. The bill would allow the Legislature to vote on implementing redistricting legislation if the Independent Redistricting Commission is at an impasse.  

“Essentially, this bill would allow the majorities to do whatever they want when it comes to redistricting instead of giving the existing process the opportunity and chance,” Griffo said. “Signing this legislation would create an incentive for the governing majorities to influence appointments to the Independent Redistricting Commission, which could place the redistricting process back in partisan hands. Voters rejected such an idea earlier this month and the governor should honor the will of the people by vetoing this legislation.” 

Griffo added his reasoning for voicing concerns over this legislation is because of a recent New York Times story that indicated strategies that could be undertaken by the legislative majorities to manipulate the redistricting process in the state.

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