Senator Joseh Griffo and Assemblyman Mark Walczyk of Watertown have introduced legislation that they say will provide for more geographic balance to the New York State Senate.

The legislation would amend the state Constitution and award each county in the state a single Senator to represent it in the state legislature.

The number of Senate districts would decrease from 63 to 62, while representation in the state Assembly would continue to be population based.

Griffo says the legislation is signed into law, New York state government would more closely mirror the setup of the federal government.  Congressional districts are determined by population, but each state has two senators. He say that allows all 50 states in the Union to have an equal voice regardless of the size of their population.

“Many in Upstate New York, and rightfully so, are concerned that their voices won’t be heard now that all levels of state government are controlled by those with Downstate and New York City Interests,” Griffo said. “As such, we must continue to seek out balance between all regions of our state to ensure that all voices are being heard and that all needs are being met. Our legislation would help us to do that by creating a more equitable distribution of legislative representatives, leading to a better and less parochial government for all New Yorkers. Legislators like Assemblyman Walczyk understand how important it is to find balance, and it is a pleasure to partner with him on this effort to provide Upstate New York with more of a voice when it comes to decisions affecting the entire state.”