Bill S1752-2015

Proposes an amendment to section 2 of article 3 of the constitution, in relation to increasing term limits and limiting the number of terms

Proposes an amendment to section 2 of article 3 of the constitution, in relation to increasing term limits and limiting the number of terms of office a member of the legislature may serve.

Details

Actions

  • Feb 23, 2015: OPINION REFERRED TO JUDICIARY
  • Jan 26, 2015: TO ATTORNEY-GENERAL FOR OPINION
  • Jan 14, 2015: REFERRED TO JUDICIARY

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S1752

TITLE OF BILL: CONCURRENT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY proposing an amendment to section 2 of article 3 of the constitution, in relation to increasing the terms of office of members of the legislature and limiting the terms of office as a member of the legislature any person may serve

PURPOSE: This legislation aims to expand and limit legislative terms in an attempt to reform government. The 16 consecutive years provided by this amendment for Assembly members and the 18 consecutive years provided by this amendment for Senators would allow elected-officials to accrue seniority, but then deprives them of the incumbent's position for at least one term, so that the voters might choose new representation in comparison.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: This legislation would amend section 2 of article 3 of the constitution in relation to increasing the terms of office of Assembly members of the legislature to four years, and the terms of office of Senators to six years, and limiting the consecutive terms of office a Senator may serve to three, and an Assembly member to four.

JUSTIFICATION: New York's democracy embodies a tension between the need for legislators to learn the nature and procedure of their position, and the desire of the voters for new ideas to filter into government through a exchange of incumbents and new legislators. In addition, the two-year legislative terms for which the Constitution presently provides are not efficient, as members must constantly campaign, and a significant portion of their time is diverted from legislative activity.

An expanded term of office would allow lawmakers to concentrate more fully on legislative activity and on the honing and advocacy of policy. Adopting staggered terms for the upper and lower legislative houses would also bolster voter turnout in what were formerly "off-year" election, rather than general election years.

The three consecutive term limit for Senate positions would force a turnover of fresh ideas and members within the upper house, as would the four consecutive term limit for Assembly seats.

The rationale behind limiting the amount of terms, is that eighteen and sixteen years are, respectively, sufficient time to advocate for such legislation that is of particular importance to an elected official before allowing a new member a potentially similar amount of time to pursue his or her political agenda. It is theorized that such turnover of new ideas might best serve the constituents of each district. This constant churning of the legislature would allow the issues and voices of more New Yorkers to be heard, as well as trigger a sense of urgency to enact important policy concerns into law.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2013-14: S.2828 - Attorney General opinion received; died in Judiciary 2011-12: S.2891 - Attorney General opinion received; died in Judiciary A similar bill (A.4145 and S.21 of 2009-2010) has the following history in the Assembly. A.4145 (2009-2010) - Referred to Attorney General; Re-Referred to Judiciary.

S.21 (2009-2010) - Referred to Attorney General; Re-Referred to Judiciary. A.7594 (2007-2008) - Referred to Attorney General; Re-Referred to Judiciary.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

RESOLVED (if the Assembly concur), That the foregoing amendments be referred to the first regular legislative session convening after the next succeeding general election of members of the assembly, and, in conformity with section 1 of article 19 of the constitution, be published for 3 months previous to the time of such election.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1752 2015-2016 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 14, 2015 ___________
Introduced by Sen. PARKER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Judiciary CONCURRENT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY proposing an amendment to section 2 of article 3 of the constitution, in relation to increasing the terms of office of members of the legisla- ture and limiting the terms of office as a member of the legislature any person may serve Section 1. Resolved (if the Assembly concur), That section 2 of arti- cle 3 of the constitution be amended to read as follows: S 2. The senate shall consist of fifty members, except as hereinafter provided. The senators [elected in the year one thousand eight hundred and ninety-five shall hold their offices for three years, and their successors] shall be [chosen] ELECTED for TERMS OF two years; PROVIDED, THAT SENATORS ELECTED IN THE YEAR TWO THOUSAND FOURTEEN AND IN SUBSE- QUENT YEARS SHALL HOLD THEIR OFFICES FOR SIX YEARS. The assembly shall consist of one hundred and fifty members. The assembly members [elected in the year one thousand nine hundred and thirty-eight, and their successors,] shall be [chosen] ELECTED for TERMS OF two years; PROVIDED, THAT ASSEMBLY MEMBERS ELECTED IN THE YEAR TWO THOUSAND FOURTEEN AND IN SUBSEQUENT YEARS SHALL HOLD THEIR OFFICES FOR FOUR YEARS. NO PERSON SHALL SERVE AS A SENATOR FOR MORE THAN THREE CONSECUTIVE SIX YEAR TERMS, PROVIDED THAT ANY SENATOR WHO LEAVES HIS OR HER SERVICE AS A SENATOR FOR AT LEAST ONE TERM, SHALL BE ELIGIBLE TO SERVE AN ADDITIONAL THREE CONSECUTIVE SIX YEAR TERMS. NO PERSON SHALL SERVE AS A MEMBER OF THE ASSEMBLY FOR MORE THAN FOUR CONSECUTIVE FOUR YEAR TERMS, PROVIDED THAT ANY MEMBER OF THE ASSEMBLY WHO LEAVES HIS OR HER OFFICE FOR AT LEAST ONE TERM, SHALL BE ELIGIBLE TO SERVE AN ADDITIONAL FOUR CONSECUTIVE FOUR YEAR TERMS. S 2. Resolved (if the Assembly concur), That the provisions of the foregoing amendments shall apply only to terms of offices commencing after such amendments shall have been adopted pursuant to section 1 of article 19 of the constitution. EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD89062-01-5 S. 1752 2 S 3. Resolved (if the Assembly concur), That the foregoing amendments be referred to the first regular legislative session convening after the next succeeding general election of members of the assembly, and, in conformity with section 1 of article 19 of the constitution, be published three months previous to the time of such election.

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