CapTon: Assembly GOP Might Go Own Way On Redistricting

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Source: Liz Benjamin / Capital Tonight

Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb told me on CapTon last night that his staff has identifed some unspecified “flaws” in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s redistricting reform bill, which might spur his conference to propose amendments – or even an entirely new piece of legislation.

Kolb, along with Senate Minority Leader John Sampson and Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, signed former NYC Mayor Ed Koch’s reform pledge last fall, agreeing to co-sponsor independent redistricting commission legislation by March 1.

The leader said he remains supportive of the concept of redistricting reform, but insisted there “can’t be any even slight advantage to anybody.” He is so far unconvinced that Cuomo’s bill accomplishes that.

“We believe there might even be a problem constitutionally on the equal protection clause, in terms of fair representation, the demographics about upstate, downstate, you know, the island and all that enters into pla,” Kolb said.

“I’ve been at the forefront of saying: Nonpartisan independent redistricting…If we’re not there on this bill, we’ll have our own bill that is a better bill if we think this bill is flawed.”

“It’s not just about the pledge. It’s the pledge that we think would make better government. If we end up modifying or amending the governor’s bill to make it really a good bill I have no problems supporting the governor’s bill with amendments. If he’s not willing to amend his bill, that’s when we’ll come up with our own suggestions.”

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