MonroeCounty.gov; Adam Bello, County Executive

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello Vetoes Partisan Redistricting Bill - Proposes Legislation Creating an Independent Redistricting Commission

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Monroe County Executive Adam Bello today vetoed last year’s Republican supermajority redistricting plan, citing the overly partisan process and lack of sufficient public input. Instead, Bello introduced legislation creating an independent redistricting commission that puts the public interest ahead of party politics.

“The Republican Majority’s redistricting process last year was deeply flawed. It lacked transparency, and meaningful public input and did not provide adequate information about the proposed districts to legislators or the public,” said Bello. “We must start over with an improved process. Creating an independent redistricting commission will ensure that voters have confidence that the redistricting process is fair and impartial.”

In addition to the other process flaws, the adoption of last year’s redistricting law did not comply with the Municipal Home Rule Law, which requires that any local law be “in its final form and . . . upon the desks or tables of the members [of the Legislature] at least seven calendar days . . . prior to its final passage.” County Legislators received the Republican supermajority bill the day before the final vote.

The Bello-proposed independent commission’s goal is to draw compact, contiguous districts to avoid dividing Towns, Villages, and neighborhoods within the City of Rochester to the greatest extent possible. The Commission’s process will be transparent, with meetings open to the public. In addition to its regular meetings, the Commission will hold at least three public hearings prior to the completion of its work, at least one of which must occur after the Commission unveils its proposed plan.

The eight-member independent body would be comprised of community representatives and the Commissioners of the Board of Elections. Elected officials, political party officials, lobbyists, and the relatives of those individuals will not be eligible to serve on the Commission.

Both the Veto message and new independent commission local law were sent to the Monroe County Legislature today.

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