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State Legislature redistricting deal coming together

ALBANY -– Lawmakers today huddled in private over a conceptual -– or if you prefer, virtual or even pending -- deal to make the once-a-decade process of redistricting the State Legislature just a bit more independent. Sources said an agreement could be voted on as soon as Monday.

A Capitol source described the proposed measure as complex at best, but said it is being drafted in such a way to give all sides -– lawmakers, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and government “reform’’ groups –- a dose of comfort.

Lawmakers say the plan, or hope anyway, is to get a measure -– actually both a constitutional amendment resolution and an accompanying piece of law -– into print by Friday evening so the Assembly and Senate could take it up on Monday.

Still uncertain, as of today anyway, is whether the revised lines for the Assembly and Senate will be rushed into print so they can pass them on the same day.

The independent redistricting process –- just how independent it’ll be is still being drafted –- would not apply to this year’s reapportionment battle, but kick in after the next U.S. Census in 2020.

Loads of questions await the revised legislative lines.

On the macro level : Will the new process kicking in 10 years from now reducing at least some of the all-powerful control by the Legislature now over redistricting be enough to provide the political cover for Cuomo to avoid vetoing the lines?

On the micro level: Will Sen. Mark Grisanti see his proposed Senate lines shift back into part of Niagara County so that Conservative Party officials there could have a say in his political future after the Erie County Conservative Party refused to endorse his re-election?

-- Tom Precious

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