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State Sen. Richard Codey (D-Roseland), a former governor of New Jersey

Codey opposes redistricting amendment

By Nikita Biryukov, December 14 2018 2:12 pm

State Sen. Dick Codey will oppose the constitutional amendment on redistricting being pushed by Democratic leaders in the legislature.

“I cannot in good conscious support SCR-152.  This bill would make our commission less independent.  Efforts to change our redistricting process began a few years ago, and I feel this plan moves us backward, not forward from that proposal,” Codey said. “I believe there are some parts of the plan that should be looked in to further, but the bill as it stands is not in the best interest of New Jersey voters or the democratic process.”

The amendment would impose a fairness formula on the state’s redistricting process for legislative districts. It would require that at least a quarter of the state’s 40 legislative districts have vote margins that fall within 5% of the average of statewide elections over the 10 years preceding reapportionment.

The measure would also reduce the number of picks made to the redistricting commission party state chairs make from five to two, giving two picks to two legislative leaders from both parties.

The latter measure is a shot at Democratic State Chairman John Currie, who is allied with Gov. Phil Murphy, as is Codey.

Codey is the third state senator to announce his opposition to the amendment. State Sens. Brian Stack and Nicholas Sacco announced they would vote against the measure earlier this week. State Sen. Nia Gill is expected to vote against the measure.

Others, like State Sens. Nellie Pou and Shirley Turner, who was subbed out of the Senate State Government Committee that held a hearing on the amendment yesterday, could also vote to sink the measure.

Codey, a former governor, chaired the 2000 redistricting commission.

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