Griffo Wants Better Balance In State Government
Senator Joseph Griffo and Assemblyman Mark Walczyk of Watertown are introducing legislation they say would provide for a more geographic balance to state government.
Griffo and Walczyk’s bill would amend the state constitution and award each county in the state a single senator to represent it in the legislature.
It would also reduce the current number of Senate districts from 63 to 62.
The lawmakers say if signed into law, the state’s government would more closely mirror the setup of the federal government.
Congressional districts are determined by population, but each state has two senators. This allows all 50 states in the Union to have an equal voice regardless of the size of their population.
Assembly seats would continue to be apportioned based on population.
The two legislators hope that a more equitable distribution of legislative representatives would lead to a better and less parochial government for all New Yorkers.
“People are rightfully frustrated with the authoritarian approach demonstrated Governor and a lack of checks and balances, particularly during this recent public health crisis,”Griffo said. “Many, especially in upstate, are discouraged by the unwillingness shown by the downstate-dominated legislative majorities to counteract and confront the actions of the administration. Recent gubernatorial actions and focuses have once again demonstrated the need for balance in state government. While I recognize that there are a number of significant legal and other obstacles in the way, I believe that our bill is what is needed to ensure that all voices are being heard and that all regions get the attention they deserve.”
The bill is currently in the Senate’s Judiciary Committee and the Assembly’s Governmental Operations Committee.