Relates to residency requirements for members of council.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the New York city charter, in relation to the qualifications of council members
PURPOSE: This bill would amend the New York City Charter to require those running for city council to be citizens of the United States and to have lived within the council district for the twelve months immediately preceding the election.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section one amends the New York City Charter by adding a new section 21-a.
EXISTING LAW: Current law regarding the residency of those running for city council requires that the elected live in the district at the time he or she is sworn into office. They need not physically live in the district prior to, or during the actual campaign.
JUSTIFICATION: Over the last several years there have been many documented cases of people moving directly into districts with the express intention of solely running for office. These candidates have no ties to the districts or constituents they seek to represent and oftentimes issues over residency turn into campaign fodder.
One recent example regarding a candidate's residency occurred in a special election to fill a New York City Council seat in Brooklyn.. In that case it turned out that the winner did not reside in the district prior to the election as required by local law and could not take office after the results were certified As a result, another election had to be held at the direct expense of the taxpayers. The costs associated with this second election should not be shouldered onto those of the taxpayers, especially given the fact this whole situation never should have arisen in the first place.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2011-12: S.1319 2009-10: S.1430/A.5188
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to the state. Had this law been in effect several months ago, it would have saved the City of New York over $700,000, which is the approximate cost of holding a second city council election, following the disqualification of the first winner.
LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately and shall apply to all members elected on or after the date it shall have become a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 418 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. DILAN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Cities AN ACT to amend the New York city charter, in relation to the qualifica- tions of council members THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The New York city charter is amended by adding a new section 21-a to read as follows: S 21-A. RESIDENCE QUALIFICATIONS OF MEMBERS. NO PERSON SHALL SERVE AS A MEMBER UNLESS HE OR SHE IS A CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES AND, EXCEPT AS HEREINAFTER OTHERWISE PRESCRIBED, HAS BEEN A RESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL DISTRICT FOR THE TWELVE MONTHS IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING HIS OR HER ELECTION AND CONTINUOUSLY THEREAFTER; IF ELECTED AT THE FIRST ELECTION NEXT ENSU- ING AFTER A READJUSTMENT OR ALTERATION OF DISTRICTS BECOMES EFFECTIVE, A PERSON, TO BE ELIGIBLE TO SERVE AS A MEMBER, MUST HAVE BEEN A RESIDENT OF THE BOROUGH IN WHICH THE COUNCIL DISTRICT IS CONTAINED FOR THE TWELVE MONTHS IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING HIS OR HER ELECTION AND A RESIDENT OF THE DISTRICT UPON TAKING OFFICE AND CONTINUOUSLY THEREAFTER. S 2. This act shall effect immediately and shall apply to all members elected on or after the date it shall have become a law.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD00414-01-3