Relates to increasing the length of the term of senate members to four years and imposing term limits on all members of the legislature of sixteen years.
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 senate and limiting the terms of office of members of the legislature
PURPOSE: To ensure that the legislature acts on the authority of the people rather than for the accumulation of power and to encourage public officials to serve the common good rather than their own self-interest.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: The bill changes the terms of State Senators and members of the Assembly as of 2016. A term of a State Senator would increase from two to four years. The bill sets term limits for State Senators of no more than three consecutive four-year terms. The bill sets term limits for Assembly members of no more than six consecutive two-year terms.
EXISTING LAW: Under the State Constitution, members of the Senate and Assembly may serve an unlimited number of two-year terms.
JUSTIFICATION: The work of the legislature is to represent the people. It is in the interest of the people that we limit the length of service to prevent public officials from accumulating too much power. Over the last several years, many entrenched members of the executive and legislative branches have been convicted of corruption related crimes. As of 2013, 46 members of the Assembly or 31% of the body have served for more than 12 years. In the Senate, 20 members or 32% of the body have served for more than 12 years. This bill will encourage public officials to be people of authority rather than people of power and ensure public service for the State of New York.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: Fifteen states in the nation currently have some form of legislative term limits. This bill mirrors the current legislative term limits of California which limits Senators to serving three consecutive four-year terms and Assembly members to serving six consecutive two-year terms. According to the State Integrity Investigation, California currently has the 4th highest Integrity Score in the nation while New York ranks 37th. Two thirds of the states that have legislative term limits have higher rankings for integrity than New York.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None
LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None
EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately following the 2016 elections.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 4804 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE April 24, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. GIPSON -- 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 senate and limiting the terms of office of 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] ELECTED for TERMS OF two years; PROVIDED THAT SENATORS ELECTED IN THE YEAR TWO THOUSAND SIXTEEN AND IN SUBSEQUENT YEARS SHALL HOLD THEIR OFFICES FOR FOUR 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 SHALL SERVE AS SENATOR FOR MORE THAN THREE CONSECUTIVE TERMS OR TWELVE YEARS WHICHEVER IS LONGER. NO PERSON SHALL SERVE AS AN ASSEMBLY MEMBER FOR MORE THAN SIX CONSEC- UTIVE TERMS OR TWELVE YEARS WHICHEVER IS LONGER. 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 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. EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD89120-02-3