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The Empire

Cuomo: 'Trust is low' that state legislature will enact redistricting reform

By Karen DeWitt, New York State Public Radio Capital Bureau Chief

Courtesy of the Governor's office.

Governor Andrew Cuomo, in an interview with public radio, says he’s still trying to hash out an accompanying statute to go with a constitutional amendment to change redistricting reform.

Cuomo says the legislature’s proposed constitutional amendment, as currently written, is not good enough, and any final deal hinges on how tightly structured the proposed law would be. Cuomo says of the legislature’s efforts to reform redistricting, “my trust is low, my skepticism is high”.

The governor says if there’s a failure to reach an accord, and the legislative lines are ultimately drawn by a federal magistrate, then the resulting maps would “probably get you somewhat better lines” than any product from the Senate and Assembly.

On pensions, Cuomo says talks on reforming the system are on going, and in order to reach a deal, he’d accept reforms that are not in the form of a new benefit tier, as long as the savings are there. He warns the alternative to pension reform is “thousands of layoffs” of employees in local governments around the state.

Union sources have accused the governor of playing politics, and staging a fight with organized labor as part of a strategy to run for President in 2016. Cuomo denies this, saying it’s “not about future campaigns, this is about past campaigns’ saying unions did not back him in 2010 governors’ race. He says the reason is that he told union leaders at the time that he intended to change the public pension system.

Cuomo also clarified his position on the reproductive health act, which would further protect a woman’s right to choose abortion, saying he “fully” supports it.

“I’ve been a long supporter of pro choice issues going way, way back, and I always will be,” Cuomo said.

This story has been updated from an earlier version.