Gov. Andrew Cuomo is facing increasing pressure to surrender his demand for an independent redistricting commission and instead negotiate a compromise that would preserve legislative control over the secretive redrawing of political boundaries.
The redistricting battle in Albany has presented a tricky challenge for Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat whose effort to put a more independent body in charge of redrawing the maps has been a sore spot for Senate Republicans, who hold a 32-30 majority and face demographic changes statewide that challenge their ability to retain power.
The Democratic challenger in the race for Monroe County Executive is calling on the Brooks’ Administration to release its 2012 county budget.
Brighton Town Supervisor Sandra Frankel said budgets in several counties in New York State have been released well in advance of Election Day.
“The Brooks’ campaign has said that the recently enacted New York State 2 percent property tax cap has made budgeting more difficult this year, though all the other county executives who have submitted their budgets already, must deal with the tax cap, too,” said Frankel.
Maggie Brooks said every year Monroe County has until November 18 to release the budget.
“We’ll release it when it’s ready. We still need information from the state. We still need information from our partners in the towns and villages before we can put together a complete document that goes to the legislature,” said Brooks.
Brooks says once released, the budget will be balanced and it will not raise taxes.
Senate Republicans are teaming up with a breakaway faction of Democrats to form a new task force aimed at finding efficiencies in state government.
The move by Republicans to join forces with the four-member Independent Democratic Conference is the latest recognition of the group by the GOP, and perhaps a way to win their support in the narrowly divided Senate.
Republicans hold a 32-30 seat majority, and the four independent Democrats have been considered a potential key voting bloc on contentious issues.
Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, R-Nassau County, called the new Senate Task Force on Government Efficiency a bipartisan effort aimed at stamping out fraud and abuse in state government. The panel will be officially announced today.
Sen. Thomas O’Mara, R-Elmira, and Sen. Jeff Klein, D-Bronx, who heads the IDC, will serve as co-chairmen of the task force.
“As we continue to shrink government spending and reduce taxes, it’s critically important that we uncover and stop any and all waste, excess and abuse of taxpayer dollars,” Skelos said in a statement obtained by Gannett’s Albany Bureau.
O’Mara, a freshman senator and former Assembly member, said, “We have to work together to get things done in this state. I think it’s important we have as many eyes and hands as we can, and brainstorming ideas.”
None of the 26 members of the Senate Democratic conference were named to the task force.
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