If you have been living your life or maybe living in a cave this past week, you may not have focused on the intricacies of redistricting and the issue of the federal election primary.
On Friday, January 29th, Federal Judge Gary Sharpe issued a decision that will move the Federal primary election to June 26th. As of now the state legislature has not agreed to move the state legislative primaries from September to June which means that there may be three primaries in New York in the 2012 election season. Since 1957, the League's position has been in favor of a June primary, so we have applauded the Judge's decision and will lobby the state legislature to change state legislative primaries to the June date. This issue has a direct impact on redistricting as the congressional lines need to be drawn in an expedited manner and they have yet to be drawn.
The League testified on Monday at the LATFOR hearing in Albany that the legislative lines drawn by LATFOR had been drawn by a partisan panel of legislators to protect incumbents and therefore we reiterated our call for the governor to veto those lines. The short testimony can be read on the Leagues website. As League members know, local Leagues have testified across the state for several months now on our position that an independent nonpartisan commission should draw lines without regard to incumbents or political parties. The governor has publicly stated that he would veto partisan lines drawn by LATFOR.
Also, on Tuesday the Senate Health Committee passed out of committee the tanning bed bill that the League supports. This legislation would ban tanning bed for young women under the age of 18yrs. The Assembly last year passed this legislation but it died in the Senate. Now that the legislation has passed the Senate Health Committee, the League will begin to lobby for the bill to come to the floor.
Stay tuned as the redistricting issue continues to be on the front burner.