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Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush: LATFOR to visit north country

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The panel that is redrawing the state’s political boundaries will visit the north country Nov. 2, Assemblyman Kenneth D. Blankenbush said.

The Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment voted Tuesday to hold a north country hearing, after prodding from Northern New York Assembly Republicans, including Mr. Blankenbush.

“Our region is quite distinct from other areas of the state, and the concerns of our constituents in regard to redistricting deserve to be heard,” Mr. Blankenbush said in a news release.

The move gives north country residents a chance to provide input on a process often described as an insider’s interest.

The task force is made up of state legislators. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Senate Democrats want to banish the panel in favor of an independent group that would redraw the lines, but have been stymied by Senate Republicans. Mr. Cuomo and good-government groups argue that giving legislators the ability to redraw their own districts only helps entrench incumbency and does not serve the public interest. Senate Republicans say that it’s too late in the game to change the process, and that it would require a constitutional amendment, at least a three-year prospect, which could not be done in time for the current round of redistricting, which must be finished by early next year.

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