Dutchess Legislature to consider independent reapportionment

Minority Democrats, and one Republican, signed the letter calling for an end to the “poisonous” national discourse

POUGHKEEPSIE – Dutchess County Lawmakers will consider an independent reapportionment amendment to the county charter when they meet next month.

In order to take effect, it is required to be adopted by a public referendum which would take place at the 2020 general election.

The Independent Ethics and Reapportionment Committee, which had previously delivered recommendations on a revised County Code of Ethics and Finance, issued a report detailing a process and guidelines they believed should be adopted.

Their study and report provided much aid in the development of the proposal. Republican and Democratic leadership had met several times over the course of the past two months to discuss the proposal and worked to develop it.

Independent reapportionment is a vital piece of open and fair government, lawmakers noted.

Granting the authority to the legislature to draw its own districts creates a process that is susceptible to personal preferences and political ideologies.

Following the 2010 census the legislature formed a special committee to create and advise on reapportioned districts but ultimately retained authority to change lines and vote yes/no.

“I was happy to work together on this proposal,” said Chairman Gregg Pulver. “There is little groundwork for county independent reapportionment laws, but we are confident that this is a solid proposal that others can use as a model in the future. This is an important step for better government. I am looking forward to obtaining complete support from the legislature.”

The proposal will be considered at the September 5th committee meeting at 5 p.m.

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