The United States Census Bureau data shows New York State will lose one Congressional seat and State Senator George Borrello says this is not good news. Borrello blames the policies seen over last decade,
“The high taxation, the over-regulation and an environment that’s just not friendly for business is causing us to lose seats, congressional seats, and lose population. Some will spin this by saying ‘Oh, we were expecting to lose two seats and we only lost one!’ and that’s like saying my new healthy lifestyle is working out great because I only gained 25 pounds and not 50.”
Borrello added in addition to losing the seat, that New York will lose influence and funding at the Federal level too.
In terms of apportionment, Borrello is concerned that leadership in Albany is trying to dismantle an Independent Redistricting Commission that was formed following a constitutional amendment in 2014,
“In fact, they passed bills last year that would dismantle this independent commission. It’s been absolutely panned by good government groups including the League of Women Voters who called this an absolute backward step into the old days of ‘three men in a room’ and yet that’s what the leadership is trying to do.”
Borrello said officials likely won’t know until January how districts will be redrawn.
County Executive PJ Wendel said while it was good New York only lost one seat, he questions where that redistricting will take place and how it affects Chautauqua County,
“I’m a firm believer that our connections to the Southern Tier are much greater than they are to that of Erie County, so I would hope that those that are able make this decision would consider that.”
Wendel also is concerned about funding that could be reduced or lost for the area with less representation for the state in Washington,
“A great deal of Federal money came from the sewer expansion project we have coming up, State and Federal money, so again it’s very concerning that those funding sources could be impacted. But we know what we have to do and have our work cut out in bringing people back to this area.”
Wendel added that his hope is that more people who can work remotely will move from larger urban areas to Chautauqua County as officials work to enhance broadband opportunities here.
Governor Andrew Cuomo is asking the New York State Attorney General to review the state’s legal option to challenge the decision that the state will lose a congressional seat. The request follows the U.S. Census Bureau’s announcement that New York lost the seat, having fallen 89 Census responses short of keeping all 27 seats.
Cuomo cited unprecedented challenges last year in getting residents counted including the pandemic, postal mail system, and what he calls illegal efforts that discouraged non-citizens and people of color from being counted.