Erie County Legislature Chairperson Betty Jean Grant (D-Buffalo) and the County Legislature Democratic Majority sponsored a resolution unanimously approved by the County Legislature January 26 strongly opposing the addition of a 63rd Senate seat to the New York State.
Chairperson Grant was joined by Majority Leader Thomas J. Mazur (D-Cheektowaga, Buffalo) and Legislators Timothy R. Hogues (D-Buffalo), Thomas A. Loughran (D-Amherst), Lynn M. Marinelli (D-Buffalo, Tonawanda) and Terrence D. McCracken (D-Depew, Lancaster, South Cheektowaga) cosponsoring the resolution opposing creating a new seat in the New York State Senate.
“Recent media reports have drawn attention to a New York State Senate Republican proposal to add a 63rd Senate seat. Republicans defend this proposal due to a 500,000-person increase in the state’s population since district lines were redrawn in 2002,” Legislature Chair Grant said. “With New York State about to lose two Congressional seats, down to 27 from 29, because the state’s population has grown much less than other states, New York State’s somewhat anemic population growth should not serve as an excuse to increase the size of government, particularly at the policymaking level of the New York State Legislature.”
“I am not aware of any outcry from the public demanding the addition of a New York State Senate seat. Indeed, the chorus supporting smaller government grows more vocal with each passing year,” Chairperson Grant continued. “The Erie County Legislature undertook not one, but two, downsizing efforts during the last decade, and successfully implemented both – a downsizing from 17 seats to 15 seats in 2002, and again a downsizing from 15 seats to 11 seats effective this year.”
”It would be fitting for New York State to consider the downsizing efforts at both the county and federal levels as a lesson in 21st Century civics and the direction the taxpaying public wants government to head in,” Chairperson Grant concluded.