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Pro-convention groups considering new path

Nov 10, 2017 6:30 am

Matthew Hamilton is reporting at Capitol Confidential in the wake of the overwhelming rejection of the idea of state constitutional convention by voters Tue., Nov. 7, the yes coalition is considering its options for reform through legislative and political means. “(I was) disappointed” said John Bergener Jr., chair of the Divide NYS Caucus. Bergener’s Divide NYS Caucus had hoped for a constitutional amendment splitting the state into two, possibly three, autonomous regions. The idea is seen as a way for upstaters to secede, but without the necessity of gaining the approval of the existing state Legislature and U.S. Congress. Despite the setback, Bergener said the group will not dissolve and may get involved in political campaigns. Restrict and Regulate NY State 2019, a political action committee advocating for a convention, announced a week before the vote that it was looking to reconstitute the defunct Marijuana Reform Party. Bill Samuels, founder of the pro-convention NY People’s Convention, said he believes the only other way to bring major cultural change to state government is to challenge Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Samuels intends to increase his financial contributions to political ventures in 2018. With voters rejecting a constitutional convention in 2019, another vote will not happen until 2037. Read the full story at Capitol Confidential.

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