ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)- The state’s Independent Redistricting Commission is frustrated over the lack of funding. Commissioners discussed how to proceed after being ignored by Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders in a meeting on Thursday.
Time is running out for the Independent Redistricting Commission. New districting maps must be submitted to the legislature by January 15, 2022. The Commission said funding is deliberately being withheld from the state.
Without the requested $3.2 million in funding, the Commission said they have been unable to create a website and hire staff. Many of the commissioners were in favor of taking legal action but said lack of funding also puts them in a position where the pursuit of litigation isn’t an option.
Redistricting is done every 10 years following the Census to ensure district lines reflect population changes. District lines are redrawn to ensure districts have the same number of people and represent the electorate, said the Brennan Center for Justice.
People should be looking at the wondering why funding hasn’t been addressed, said Commissioner Jack Martins. He also voiced frustration over not knowing what action the Commission should take next to prompt action from government officials.
Commissioners discussed involving both the N.Y. and U.S. Attorney General’s office to get legal advice on how they should proceed. Commissioner George Winner said the Commission has asked politely for months and called inaction by the Governor and State Legislature unconstitutional.
Commissioners agreed to send a letter to Gov. Cuomo, legislative leaders, N.Y. State Budget Director and copied to the N.Y and U.S. Attorney Generals. “Let’s see if we can chain them into doing what they should have all along,” said Martins.
NEWS10 reached out to the Commission to get a copy of the letter but has not received a reply as of Thursday afternoon. NEWS10 also reached out to Gov. Cuomo’s office late Thursday afternoon and is waiting for a reply.