Convention

The New York State Constitution is a fundamental document that performs three vital roles.  It organizes the government, establishes fundamental rights and liberties of the people, and articulates the basic values and principal concerns of the people that they wish their government to address. Our state Constitution recognizes that periodic review is necessary to keep the document current as law and society change. Such reviews correct deficiencies and strengthen the governing process.

The 2009 crises in state government underscore this point. Some claimed the current Constitution does not adequately address the issue of gubernatorial succession, especially in the instance where there is a vacancy in the office of Lieutenant Governor. The lack of clarity has led to litigation eventually settled by the courts that caused a distraction and helped contribute to the failure to address critical issues facing our state. Similarly, the 2009 Senate deadlock paralyzed that body for more than a month as there was no mechanism in place to break tie votes.

Whether as a result of the recent crises in state government or as a result of a more institutionalized problem, our state government has failed to adequately address a number of issues that the people of this state would like to see addressed: a constitutional state spending cap, local government real property tax caps, state debt reform, public authority reform and accountability, reform of the state budget process, nonpartisan redistricting of legislative districts, campaign finance reform, recall of elected officials, and an initiative and referendum process.

These principal concerns of the people of the state are best addressed by those people at a "People's Convention" where they can evaluate the current constitution and reform or revise it, as necessary, to meet the needs of the current generation of New Yorkers. 

 

For more detailed reading on the Constitutional Convention please follow the link below for a law review article on point authored by Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolbb:

New York State Assembly Republican Leader Brian M. Kolb, "'New York’s Last, Best Hope for Real Reform': The Case for Convening a State Constitutional Convention" 4 Alb. Gov't L. Rev. 601, 2011

 

 

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