Inundated with fierce opposition from across the political spectrum, Democrats who lead the New Jersey Legislature have abruptly shelved a controversial redistricting plan that critics say could bolster their power for decades. Democratic leaders had scheduled a vote for Monday, the final legislative session of the year, at the Statehouse in Trenton. But staring down the possibility the plan might not pass in the face of broad backlash, state Senate President Stephen Sweeney and state Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin announced Saturday night they canceled the vote. That makes it unlikely the proposed constitutional amendment will be placed before voters next year — at least in its current form.
Sweeney, D-Gloucester, and Coughlin, D-Middlesex, said lawmakers will now consider reworking the plan.
“This will give us the time and opportunity to review the input we have received from the public, our legislative colleagues and others to determine if any of these ideas would improve the proposal,” Sweeney said in a statement.
“Redistricting provides the foundation for the democratic process and it gives voice to voters,” he added. “We will maintain an open mind as we continue to work on a proposal that best serves the electoral process and the values of our democracy.”