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Bellone's veto clears the way for bipartisan commission to try again with redistricting Suffolk

Courtesy of the Suffolk County Legislature

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone vetoed a Democratic redistricting plan in a compromise with the new Republican legislative majority.

Bellone’s veto gives a new bipartisan commission until August to redraw the county’s legislative districts for the next decade.

Last year, the original bipartisan panel failed to meet a key deadline, and the former Democratic majority created the plan on their own.

Republicans blocked the Democratic plan when they gained the majority in the new year. Bellone, a Democrat, told Newsday that plan "would never have survived" legal challenges because it violated the county charter.

Under the deal with Republicans, the new commission will follow the parts of the plan by Democrats to keep four districts with a majority of nonwhite residents, while the makeup of the other 14 districts are to be determined.

A native Long Islander, J.D. is WSHU's managing editor. He also hosts the climate podcast Higher Ground. J.D. reports for public radio stations across the Northeast, is a journalism educator and proud SPJ member.