This bill has been amended

Bill S324-2013

Imposes term limits of four consecutive terms or sixteen years for members of the legislature

Imposes term limits of three consecutive terms or twelve years for members of the legislature.

Details

Actions

  • Feb 6, 2013: OPINION REFERRED TO JUDICIARY
  • Jan 11, 2013: TO ATTORNEY-GENERAL FOR OPINION
  • Jan 9, 2013: REFERRED TO JUDICIARY

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S324

TITLE OF BILL: REVISED 12/10/12

CONCURRENT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY proposing an amendment to section 2 of article 3 of the constitution, in relation to imposing term limits for members of the legislature

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:

Provides that commencing in 2014 and thereafter, members of the legislature shall not serve more than four consecutive terms or 16 years, whichever is longer.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 amends section 2 of article 3 of the constitution to impose term limits of four consecutive terms or 16 years, whichever is longer commencing in 2014.

JUSTIFICATION:

History has shown that legislative bodies without term limits can easily become ineffectual, and at worst dysfunctional, due to the lack of new ideas and entrenchment of senior legislators who become concerned with maintaining their positions rather than doing the public's business.

Unfortunately, the proposition that an election is the "ultimate" form of term limits fails due simply to the extreme power of the incumbency. Opponents of term limits argue that imposition of such laws takes away the power of citizens to choose their leaders. Yet such arguments fail to acknowledge the nature of the electoral process in the lack of true choice that is provided to voters. Millions of dollars are spent by political parties and 3rd party special interest in promoting their candidates of choice, especially those incumbents that have remained in office and are a known commodity to their affiliated parties and constituencies. Furthermore, it is extremely difficult for unknown new candidates, who may be full of fresh ideas, to get their voices heard when they are challenging an extremely well financed incumbent whose name recognition alone would be sufficient to win an election.

Therefore, reasonable term limits are necessary to strike a balance in the democratic process of free and fair elections where voters are able to honestly consider new candidates who can bring fresh ideas, as well as those elected officials who have served them well and have had sufficient time in office to offer their best public service to their state. 16 years is a sufficient time to provide turn over and yet maintain institutional memory.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

2011-12: S.3298

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:

None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This amendment would take effect after approval of the voters by referendum.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 324 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sen. AVELLA -- 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 imposing term limits for members of the legislature 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 for two 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 for two years. NO PERSON ELECTED TO OFFICE IN TWO THOUSAND SIXTEEN AND IN SUBSEQUENT YEARS SHALL SERVE AS A MEMBER OF THE LEGISLATURE FOR MORE THAN FOUR CONSECUTIVE TERMS OR FOR SIXTEEN YEARS, WHICHEVER IS LONGER, WHETHER SUCH SERVICE IS AS A SENATOR, ASSEMBLY MEMBER, OR CONSECUTIVE TERMS AS A SENATOR AND AN ASSEMBLY MEMBER; PROVIDED THAT ANY PARTIAL TERM OF OFFICE HELD AS A MEMBER OF THE LEGISLATURE PRIOR TO THE ELECTION TO A CONSEC- UTIVE FULL TERM SHALL NOT BE USED TO CALCULATE ANY TERM LIMITATION IMPOSED PURSUANT TO THIS PARAGRAPH. S 2. Resolved (if the Assembly concur), That the provisions of the foregoing amendments shall apply only to terms of office commencing after such amendments shall have been adopted pursuant to section 1 of article 19 of the constitution. 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 the members of the assembly, and, in conformity with section 1 of article 19 of the constitution, be published for three months previous to the time of such election. EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD89041-01-3

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