Bill S3458-2011

Proposes to convene a constitutional convention, provides for qualifications for delegates to a constitutional convention

Proposes to convene a constitutional convention, provides for qualifications for delegates to a constitutional convention.

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  • Jan 4, 2012: REFERRED TO FINANCE
  • Feb 23, 2011: REFERRED TO FINANCE

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S3458

TITLE OF BILL: An act to provide for the submission to the people of a proposition or question to convene a constitutional convention; and to amend the public officers law, in relation to requirements for delegates to a constitutional convention

PURPOSE: This bill would provide for the submission to the voters of whether there should be a constitutional convention for a limited call on reform issues, and amend the public officers law to provide limitations and ethical requirements for delegates to a constitutional convention.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section one of this bill would provide that pursuant to the provisions of section 2 of article XIX of the New York state constitution, a question would be submitted to and decided by the voters as to whether there should be a convention to revise the constitution and amend the same for the sole and limited purposes of reform. Such convention would be limited to:

* Reform of the state budget process; * Creating real property tax relief; * providing state mandate and regulatory relief; * Limiting state debt and expenditures; * Authorizing statewide initiative and referendum; * Establishing term limits for all state elected officers; * Creating a process of recall for all state elected officer; and * Establishing the rules of succession for all state elected officers.

Section two of this bill would provide that if the voters approve a constitutional convention for such a limited call, that such a convention shall be held in the state capitol in Albany, the following April, with delegates to the same considering and submitting amendments to the state constitution on the foregoing issues of reform.

Section three of this bill would add a new section 73-c is added to the public officers law, to provide that all persons seeking election as a delegate to a state constitutional convention:

* Must file financial disclosure forms; * Must have been a state resident for not less than 5 consecutive years, and of the Senate District for not less than one year; * Must, within 30 days of their election, file with secretary of state, an oath of office, in a form proscribed by the secretary of state, which swears that such delegate will impartially serve the people of the state of New York, in the discharge of the duties of their office, without conflict or undue influence. * May not, within five years of the time of their service as delegate, have: * Held any elected public office; * Been employed as a lobbyist, as defined by section 1-c of the

legislative law; or * Been employed as an officer or executive director of a labor union, employee association, or not for profit corporation.

Section four of this bill would provide for an immediate effective date.

JUSTIFICATION: This bill would provide for the commencement of the process to conduct a constitutional convention on the limited call of reform issues. Such process would start by placing a question on the November ballot to ask the voters of New York whether they wish to have such a convention on such limited reform issues. If the voters approve, then delegates would be elected by the voters the following November (3 per senate district and 15 statewide). Pursuant to this bill such delegates would be required to file financial disclosure and an oath of office declaring their impartiality. This bill would further preclude elected public officers, lobbyists and officers of labor unions, employee associations and not for profit corporations from serving as delegates.

Through the conduct of a constitutional convention, with a limited reform focus, and delegates who are not representing special interests, a process of true and real reform could be accomplished in New York State. The State Constitution could be amended to set forth procedures and requirements to provide for on time state budgets, real property tax reform, state mandate, tax and debt relief, initiative and referendum, and term limits, recall and succession rules for state elected officers.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: S.8342/Rules Committee

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediate with provisions.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3458 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 23, 2011 ___________
Introduced by Sens. GRIFFO, GRISANTI, LARKIN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Finance AN ACT to provide for the submission to the people of a proposition or question to convene a constitutional convention; and to amend the public officers law, in relation to requirements for delegates to a constitutional convention THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Pursuant to the provisions of section 2 of article XIX of the New York state constitution, the question "Shall there be a conven- tion to revise the constitution and amend the same for the sole and limited purposes of providing for reform of the state budget process, creating a real property tax cap, providing state mandate and regulatory relief, limiting state debt and expenditures, authorizing statewide initiative and referendum, and establishing term limits, recall, and rules of succession for all state elected officers?" shall be submitted to and decided by the people of the state at the general election to be held in the next succeeding November after the effective date of this act. S 2. If the question stated in section one of this act is answered in the affirmative by a majority of all votes cast for and against it, decided in favor of a convention for such sole and limited purposes, the procedures and provisions of section 2 of article XIX of the New York state constitution shall apply and be implemented, except that such convention shall only consider and submit amendments to the constitution for the sole and limited purposes of providing for reform of the state budget process, creating a real property tax cap, providing state mandate and regulatory relief, limiting state debt and expenditures, authorizing statewide initiative and referendum, and establishing term limits, recall, and rules of succession for all state elected officers.
S 3. The public officers law is amended by adding a new section 73-c to read as follows: S 73-C. DELEGATES TO STATE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION. ALL PERSONS SEEKING ELECTION AS A DELEGATE TO A STATE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, PURSUANT TO SECTION TWO OF ARTICLE NINETEEN OF THE NEW YORK STATE CONSTITUTION SHALL, UPON THE FILING OF THEIR PETITIONS SEEKING SUCH OFFICE, FILE THE SAME FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE FORM AS REQUIRED BY A MEMBER OF THE LEGISLATURE. ANY PERSON SEEKING ELECTION AS A DELEGATE TO A STATE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION SHALL HAVE BEEN A RESIDENT OF THE STATE FOR NOT LESS THAN FIVE CONSECUTIVE YEARS, AND A RESIDENT OF THE SENATE DISTRICT FOR NOT LESS THAN ONE YEAR. ALL PERSONS ELECTED TO THE OFFICE OF DELEGATE TO A STATE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, SHALL, WITHIN THIRTY DAYS OF THEIR ELECTION, FILE WITH THE SECRETARY OF STATE, AN OATH OF OFFICE, IN A FORM PRESCRIBED BY THE SECRETARY OF STATE, WHICH SWEARS THAT SUCH DELEGATE WILL IMPARTIALLY SERVE THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, IN THE DISCHARGE OF THE DUTIES OF THEIR OFFICE, WITHOUT CONFLICT OR UNDUE INFLUENCE. NO PERSON SHALL BE ELIGIBLE TO FILE SUCH OATH OF OFFICE AS A DELEGATE TO A STATE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION, WHO, WITHIN FIVE YEARS OF THE TIME OF THEIR SERVICE AS DELEGATE, HAS HELD ANY ELECTED PUBLIC OFFICE, OR HAS BEEN EMPLOYED AS A LOBBYIST, AS DEFINED BY SECTION ONE-C OF THE LEGISLATIVE LAW, OR HAS BEEN EMPLOYED AS AN OFFICER OR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF A LABOR UNION, EMPLOYEE ASSOCIATION, OR NOT-FOR-PROFIT CORPORATION. S 4. This act shall take effect immediately; provided that the provisions of section two of this act shall not take effect unless and until the question proposed in section one of this act shall have been submitted to the people at the general election to be held in the next succeeding November after the effective date of this act, and shall have received a majority of all votes cast for and against it at such election. Upon approval by the people, section two of this act shall take effect immediately. The ballots to be furnished for the use of the voters upon the submission of section one of this act shall be in the form prescribed by the election law, and the proposition or question to be submitted shall be printed in the following form: "Shall there be a convention to revise the constitution and amend the same for the sole and limited purposes of providing for reform of the state budget proc- ess, creating a real property tax cap, providing state mandate and regu- latory relief, limiting state debt and expenditures, authorizing state- wide initiative and referendum, and establishing term limits, recall, and rules of succession for all state elected officers?".

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