Senate Republicans are again balking at a proposal to set up an independent panel to oversee the drawing of legislative lines in 2012, saying Wednesday that there isn’t enough time to do it.
State Sen. Michael Nozzolio, the Republican co-chairman of the state Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment, said lawmakers were under a tight deadline to draw new lines. They couldn’t establish an independent redistricting panel in time for the 2012 elections, he said.
“We’ve long since run out of time for that process to unfold,” Nozzolio, a Republican from Fayette, Seneca County, told reporters after a brief, first meeting of the redistricting task force.
Nozzolio said the current panel, which is made up largely of lawmakers, would handle redistricting fairly.
All 212 state legislative seats will be redrawn next year, as well as 27 congressional seats. New York currently has 29 congressional seats, but it is losing two.
The group said it would hold 12 public hearings across the state, including one in Rochester at 10 a.m. July 20 in City Hall Council Chambers, Room 302-A, 30 Church St.
Good-government groups knocked Senate Republicans’ stance, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo reiterated that he would veto any plan adopted by the current redistricting task force, saying they are not independent.