A new bill introduced by state Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, R-Canandaigua, could lead to regular citizens having an opportunity to change the state constitution.
But it won’t get off the ground without grassroots support, local Republican legislators said.I actually thought this was a great idea when I first heard Mr. Griffo broach it a few months back. I wouldn't mind even being one of the "regular citizens" having an opportunity to change the constitution.
But before jumping on the bandwagon . . . let's stop and think of who we may be sharing our bandwagon with . . .
People are waking up to the fact that they can no longer blindly vote for "change" without some idea of where the folks who want "change" really want to take us.
New York's Constitution worked just fine . . . up until 1964 when the US Supreme Court voided parts of it. . . . the very parts that ensured that Upstate New Yorkers would have a voice in their government.
A "Con-Con" with representation based on Senatorial Districts as they are laid out now per US Supreme Court directive would look very different from a "Con-Con" as contemplated by the Framers of the NYS Constitution. The Framers' Con-Con would have had Upstate and Downstate interests balanced. . . . to produce changes that would advance the interests of both regions.
That has been taken from us.
A Con-Con now would be dominated by Downstate interests whether it be Liberal Democrats from the City, or Conservative Republicans from Westchester and Long Island. It would result in government reorganization that is appropriate for a wealthy, densely populated region . . . not a region that is a mix of vast rural areas punctuated with shrinking cities.
Before a Con-Con can fix things, we need to fix the rules under which a Con-Con would be based. . . . The Supreme Court Rulings of the 1960s need to be revisited with the evidence of the decline that their changes have wrought.
Until Upstate is given back the voice that the founders of NY State Government had intended, a Con-Con will only make a bad situation worse.