Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Senate Dems use 'rule' to push

ALBANY -- State Senate Democrats on Monday kept up their push for Gov. Andrew Cuomo's independent redistricting bill, this time employing a procedural rule designed to prevent legislation from becoming buried in committee.

Bethlehem's Neil Breslin, the chamber's deputy minority leader, was escorted by freshman Democrats Michael Gianaris of Queens, Gustavo Rivera of the Bronx and Tim Kennedy of Buffalo to present a petition to the Rules Committee asking for a public hearing on Cuomo's redistricting bill.

The petition, which had to be signed by a third of the members of Rules to be considered, can be rejected by a majority vote of the full committee -- but that's a potentially embarrassing task for the chamber's majority Republicans, all of whom signed a pledge before last fall's elections asserting their support for redistricting reform.

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