This is an important election year. When you go to the polls on November 4, you are voting for governor, Congress, and the state legislature. In addition, there are ballot propositions, issues that are so important, we need you, the voter, to decide if we should do them. These proposals are on the back of your ballot, and we need you to turn your ballot over and vote on them.
This November, you have three proposals to vote on, and on all three I am urging you to vote yes.
The first proposal will bring independent redistricting to New York State.
Currently, the state legislature is solely responsible for drawing new district lines every 10 years. This proposal would reform the process and establish a redistricting commission made up of 10 members to draw the lines, independent of political influence, ending the practice of district lines drawn for the benefit of incumbents and political parties.
It’s important to have objectivity and a smooth process for redistricting, and this commission will fulfill both those needs. I urge you to vote yes.
Prop 2 would bring the legislature into the 21st century. Current law mandates that every bill be hard-printed for every single legislator prior to a vote. That’s hundreds of copies of bills that are, at times, hundreds of pages long. This equals tens of thousands of pieces of paper every year for many bills that never pass or are brought to a vote.
It’s a waste of money, resources and time. This proposal would allow for bills to be distributed electronically. It’s a sound proposal that not only makes environmental sense but also financial sense.
Supporting this measure, to me, is a no brainer, as it streamlines the legislative process, saves time and money, and allows us to use computers instead of paper. I recommend a yes vote.
The third proposal would allow the state to make easier investments in our schools, including funding for interactive whiteboards, computer servers, desktop, laptop and tablet computers, as well as installing high-speed broadband for schools and modernizing educational facilities. To do this, the state wants to sell bonds.
These bonds would, through creation of a specific debt program, improve the education of all New York students. It’s a smart and efficient way to improve schools. I urge you to vote yes.
So, this year, turn over your ballot, find these three proposals, and vote on them. It’s up to you to make sure we can make these significant changes in Albany, and I hope you will join me in voting YES on November 4.
State Senator Marty Golden represents the 22nd S.D.