Bill S198-2011

Provides for filling of vacancies in the office of governor and lt. governor

Provides for filling of vacancies in the office of governor and lieutenant-governor.

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  • Feb 8, 2012: OPINION REFERRED TO JUDICIARY
  • Jan 9, 2012: TO ATTORNEY-GENERAL FOR OPINION
  • Jan 4, 2012: REFERRED TO JUDICIARY
  • Apr 27, 2011: OPINION REFERRED TO JUDICIARY
  • Jan 14, 2011: TO ATTORNEY-GENERAL FOR OPINION
  • Jan 5, 2011: REFERRED TO JUDICIARY

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S198

TITLE OF BILL: CONCURRENT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY proposing an amendment to article 4 of the constitution, relating to the filling of vacancies in the office of governor and lieutenant-governor

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: Provides for the filling of vacancies in the offices of governor and lieutenant-governor in the event of the governor's death, resignation, removal, or any other absence from office.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1, Provides that section 5 of article 4 of the constitution be amended by removing the provision that a lieutenant-governor succeeding to the office of governor shall become governor "for the remainder of the term," and replaces it with the provision that the lieutenant-governor shall become governor "until the next general election happening not less than three months after the office of governor shall have become vacant, at which a governor and lieutenant-governor shall be elected to serve the remainder of the term." In case the governor-elect shall decline to serve or shall die, the provision stating that the lieutenant-governor-elect shall become governor "for the full term," will he replaced by a provision stating that the lieutenant-governor-elect shall become governor "until the next general election." At this time, an election will be held for the office, the winner of which will serve out the remainder of the term. The provision stating that in the event the governor is impeached, absent from the state, or is otherwise unable to discharge the powers and duties of the office of governor, the lieutenant-governor shall act as governor until the inability shall cease or "until the term of the governor shall expire," will be replaced by a provision stating that the lieutenant-governor shall act as governor only until the inability shall cease or "until the next general election happening not less than three months after the office of governor shall have become vacant, at which a new governor and lieutenant-governor shall be elected for the remainder of the term."

Section 2. Provides that the proposed amendment be referred to the first regular legislative session convening after the next succeeding general election of members of the assembly, and be published for three months previous to the time of such election in accordance with section 1 of article 19 of the constitution.

JUSTIFICATION: As the constitution currently reads, the lieutenant governor, when succeeding to the office of governor, is not required to come before the voters of the state in an election. Given the considerable influence of the governor, the voters should have the ability to directly choose who they want filling this office for such an extended period of time as up to four years. The voters of the state should be given the opportunity to either approve of or reject the new governor via their vote in an

election. It demonstrates a lack of direct democratic participation in this process for the consent of the voters to be left out of this momentous decision and should be corrected. With this amendment, the power to fill this important office will be more immediately returned to the voters of the state.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:; S.6126/A.1141 of 2009/2010; Opinion referred to judiciary

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect upon amendment of the constitution pursuant to its provisions.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 198 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 5, 2011 ___________
Introduced by Sen. MAZIARZ -- 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 article 4 of the constitution, relating to the filling of vacancies in the office of governor and lieutenant-governor Section 1. RESOLVED (if the Assembly concur), That section 5 of arti- cle 4 of the constitution be amended to read as follows: S 5. In case of the removal of the governor from office or of his or her death or resignation, the lieutenant-governor shall become governor [for the remainder of the term] UNTIL THE NEXT GENERAL ELECTION HAPPEN- ING NOT LESS THAN THREE MONTHS AFTER THE OFFICE OF GOVERNOR SHALL HAVE BECOME VACANT AT WHICH A GOVERNOR AND LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR SHALL BE ELECTED TO SERVE THE REMAINDER OF THE TERM. In case the governor-elect shall decline to serve or shall die, the lieutenant-governor-elect shall become governor [for the full term] UNTIL THE NEXT GENERAL ELECTION. In case the governor is impeached, is absent from the state or is otherwise unable to discharge the powers and duties of the office of governor, the lieutenant-governor shall act as governor until the inability shall cease or until [the term of the governor shall expire] THE NEXT GENERAL ELECTION HAPPENING NOT LESS THAN THREE MONTHS AFTER THE OFFICE OF GOVERNOR SHALL HAVE BECOME VACANT, AT WHICH A GOVERNOR AND LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR SHALL BE ELECTED FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE TERM. In case of the failure of the governor-elect to take the oath of office at the commencement of his or her term, the lieutenant-governor- elect shall act as governor until the governor shall take the oath. S 2. RESOLVED (if the Assembly concur), That the foregoing amendment 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. EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD89012-01-1

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