Provides for recall; empowers the electors with the ability to remove elective officers.
TITLE OF BILL: CONCURRENT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY proposing the addition of a new article 20 to the constitution, in relation to providing for recall
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This constitutional amendment will give voters the ability to recall local and statewide elected officers, state senators, assembly members, supreme court judges and trial court judges.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 of the bill adds a new article 20 to the constitution to provide for recall of statewide officers, senators, members of the assembly and judges of the supreme and trial courts.
Section 2 is the "Resolved" clause referring the amendment 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.
JUSTIFICATION: Unlike 18 other states in the nation, there is no recall system for voters in New York State to remove an elected official. The power to remove an elected official rests solely with the Governor.
There is no provision of New York State law that would authorize a city or local government recall. An elected official is automatically expelled from office when they are convicted of a felony and may be removed if they are convicted of a crime "involving a violation of his oath of office." N.Y. Pub. Off Low §30 (McKinney 2010). However, it appears that the state Constitution bars the removal of members of the judiciary and legislators for "misconduct", N.Y. Coast Art XIII, §5. In addition, like the New York City Charter City Charter, New York State law also permits the governor to "remove" a public official including the chief executive officer of any city under certain circumstances after giving to such officer a copy of the charges against him and providing an opportunity to be heard in his defense, N.Y. Coast Art. V, §4; Art. XIII, §13; N.Y. Pub. Off. Law §§32; 33 (McKinney 2010). In 2010, the White Plains City Council passed a resolution of no confidence calling on the former Mayor Adam Bradley to resign. In that instance the Governor could have stepped in to remove the mayor under New York State law. Additionally, the White Plains City Charter provided great authority for the Council allowing that the Council may "punish or expel a member for disorderly conduct" and the Law Department was looking into whether this could legally allow the Council to vote to expel the Mayor. White Plains City Charter Sect. 30. No similar provision exists in the New York City Charter or Administrative Code and the Charter does specifically address removal of the mayor in Chapter 1, sec. 9 vesting the power with the Governor.
Therefore, the Governor is the only entity with the power to remove an elected official and a constitutional amendment is necessary to make any change to provide for recall.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New Bill
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: To be determined.
EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage of the Concurrent Resolution the amendment is 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.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5190 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE May 3, 2011 ___________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 the addition of a new article 20 to the constitution, in relation to providing for recall Section 1. Resolved (if the Assembly concur), That article 20 of the constitution be renumbered article 21 and a new article 20 be added to read as follows: ARTICLE XX SECTION 1. RECALL IS THE POWER OF THE ELECTORS TO REMOVE AN ELECTIVE OFFICER. S 2. 1. RECALL OF A STATE OFFICER IS INITIATED BY DELIVERING TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE A PETITION ALLEGING REASON FOR RECALL. SUFFICIENCY OF REASON IS NOT REVIEWABLE. PROPONENTS HAVE ONE HUNDRED SIXTY DAYS TO FILE SIGNED PETITIONS. 2. A PETITION TO RECALL A STATEWIDE OFFICER MUST BE SIGNED BY ELECTORS EQUAL IN NUMBER TO TWELVE PERCENT OF THE LAST VOTE FOR THE OFFICE, WITH SIGNATURES FROM EACH OF FIVE COUNTIES EQUAL IN NUMBER TO ONE PERCENT OF THE LAST VOTE FOR THE OFFICE IN THE COUNTY. SIGNATURES TO RECALL SENATORS, MEMBERS OF THE ASSEMBLY, AND JUDGES OF SUPREME COURTS AND TRIAL COURTS MUST EQUAL IN NUMBER TWENTY PERCENT OF THE LAST VOTE FOR THE OFFICE. 3. THE SECRETARY OF STATE SHALL MAINTAIN A CONTINUOUS COUNT OF THE SIGNATURES CERTIFIED TO THAT OFFICE. S 3. 1. AN ELECTION TO DETERMINE WHETHER TO RECALL AN OFFICER AND, IF APPROPRIATE, TO ELECT A SUCCESSOR SHALL BE CALLED BY THE GOVERNOR AND HELD NOT LESS THAN SIXTY DAYS NOR MORE THAN EIGHTY DAYS FROM THE DATE OF CERTIFICATION OF SUFFICIENT SIGNATURES. 2. A RECALL ELECTION MAY BE CONDUCTED WITHIN ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY DAYS FROM THE DATE OF CERTIFICATION OF SUFFICIENT SIGNATURES IN ORDER THAT THE ELECTION MAY BE CONSOLIDATED WITH THE NEXT REGULARLY SCHEDULED ELECTION OCCURRING WHOLLY OR PARTIALLY WITHIN THE SAME JURISDICTION IN EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD89128-01-1 S. 5190 2 WHICH THE RECALL ELECTION IS HELD, IF THE NUMBER OF VOTERS ELIGIBLE TO VOTE AT THAT NEXT REGULARLY SCHEDULED ELECTION EQUAL AT LEAST FIFTY PERCENT OF ALL THE VOTERS ELIGIBLE TO VOTE AT THE RECALL ELECTION. 3. IF THE MAJORITY VOTE ON THE QUESTION IS TO RECALL, THE OFFICER IS REMOVED AND, IF THERE IS A CANDIDATE, THE CANDIDATE WHO RECEIVES A PLURALITY IS THE SUCCESSOR. THE OFFICER MAY NOT BE A CANDIDATE, NOR SHALL THERE BE ANY CANDIDACY FOR AN OFFICE FILED PURSUANT TO SECTION TWO OF ARTICLE SIX. S 4. THE LEGISLATURE SHALL PROVIDE FOR CIRCULATION, FILING, AND CERTIFICATION OF PETITIONS, NOMINATION OF CANDIDATES, AND THE RECALL ELECTION. S 5. IF RECALL OF THE GOVERNOR OR SECRETARY OF STATE IS INITIATED, THE RECALL DUTIES OF THAT OFFICE SHALL BE PERFORMED BY THE LIEUTENANT GOVER- NOR OR COMPTROLLER, RESPECTIVELY. S 6. A STATE OFFICER WHO IS NOT RECALLED SHALL BE REIMBURSED BY THE STATE FOR THE OFFICER'S RECALL ELECTION EXPENSES LEGALLY AND PERSONALLY INCURRED. ANOTHER RECALL MAY NOT BE INITIATED AGAINST THE OFFICER UNTIL SIX MONTHS AFTER THE ELECTION. S 7. THE LEGISLATURE SHALL PROVIDE FOR RECALL OF LOCAL OFFICERS. THIS SECTION DOES NOT AFFECT COUNTIES AND CITIES WHOSE CHARTERS PROVIDE FOR RECALL. 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.