State must pay unfunded local mandate for two primaries – Saratogian

As the saying goes, “if you break it, you buy it”.

Earlier this year, the Senate Majority and the Governor, who along with the Assembly Majority, control all the levers of power in Albany under a single vote of a party affiliation, became so greedy and consumed with a total and unchallenged power that they thought they could get away with anything.

In the dark of night, with the full might of their supermajority, they pushed through an evil gerrymandering scheme to disenfranchise voters with hyperpartisan redistricting cards that would have attempted to silence voices many of our communities by moving two Senate seats from upstate to New York.

It was never really a redistricting; it was a savage attack on our democracy where the majority used the nuclear option to ignore the will of voters who voted twice for an independent redistricting process.

I wear it as a badge of honor that the Majority had me as their primary target for gerrymandering as I am proud to be known as a long time thorn in the side and a staunch defender and fighter for my constituents and their needs !

Fortunately, the New York State Court of Appeals ruled the majority maps unconstitutional and threw out the district lines placing me and several other Republican senators in the primaries, as well as the maps for the rest of the Senate. and Congress drawn by the majority and rubber- stamped by Governor Hochul.

A state Supreme Court judge appointed a special master to redraw district lines by May 20 for the state Senate and Congress and set a primary date of Aug. 23.

This August 23 primary will be in addition to the already scheduled June 28 primary for governor, lieutenant governor, state assembly, and county and local offices.

The New York State Board of Elections estimates the cost of a second statewide primary to be $25 million. Our Saratoga County Board of Elections estimates it will cost county taxpayers more than $250,000 for the supplemental primary.

I called for a consolidated primary on August 23 for all national and local races as the best solution to save taxpayers’ money and guard against voter fatigue and lack of voter turnout.

However, the governor and legislative leaders showed no interest in a consolidated primary.

This will place a huge financial burden on our local election boards, and make it harder for them to retain and recruit election officials who do the important work of monitoring the integrity of our elections.

The state is now asking our local governments to double the amount of work with the same amount of state funding. This is unacceptable. The state must do its part by helping our local electoral commissions to ease this new burden.

With two state primaries all but certain, I have introduced new legislation, the NYS Gerrymander Failure Assistance Act (S.9050) to ensure the state fully covers what the State Board of Elections deems to be a non-mandate. funded $25 million from local governments and local taxpayers to oversee two primaries. MP John Salka brings the Bill to the Assembly.

Our “NYS Gerrymander Failure Assistance Act” will ensure that local taxpayers are not forced to foot the bill for the colossal failure of the Majority and the Governor to do the right thing in the first place when they created this evil regime. of gerrymandering.

The Majority broke it. They have to fix it and they shouldn’t fix it on the backs of New York State taxpayers!

Sen. Jim Tedisco (R, C-Glenville) represents the state’s 49th Senate District which includes parts of Saratoga, Schenectady and Herkimer counties and all of Fulton and Hamilton counties

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