Proposes an amendment to the constitution allowing a local government to annex territory only upon consent through a majority vote of the people on a referendum; eliminates requirement that the governing board of a local government shall have also consented thereto.
BILL NUMBER: S642
TITLE OF BILL : CONCURRENT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY proposing an amendment to subdivision (d) of section 1 of article 9 of the constitution, in relation to the powers of local government
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL : The purposes of this bill is to allow municipalities to annex other municipalities without approval from the affected municipalities' legislatures. Note that this bill does not remove the requirement 'of the people, if any, of the territory proposed to be annexed to pass a referendum allowing for the annexation to take place.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS : This bill amends Article IX; Section 1 (d) of the State Constitution.
JUSTIFICATION : Municipal borders, often established more than a century ago, are becoming less relevant and more costly to maintain as New Yorkers live increasingly mobile lives. Residents often live and pay taxes in one place, yet work someplace else and shop throughout the region. Yet, while modern transportation and telecommunication technologies render old boundaries virtually meaningless in the day-to-day lives of New Yorkers, multiple often duplicative government layers have driven the cost of local government so high that New York State has achieved the reputation of having the highest local taxes in the nation. Local service delivery is often uncoordinated and planning frequently occurs in a void. For all these reasons the concept of regionalism has become increasingly, if only theoretically, popular. While the State Constitution allows regional cooperation in some respects, a prohibitive impediment to the action of local governments is the State Constitution's requirement that local legislatures approve any attempt by one municipality to annex another. This requirement, in addition to the referenda requirement, suggests that the interest of the local government itself should be given equal weight as the interests of People it represents. This bill recognizes the primacy of the Peoples' interests while removing the local legislative obstacle.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY : 2003/04 Opinion, referred to Judiciary, held for consideration in Local Governments 2005/2006 Opinion referred to Judiciary, attorney general, held for consideration in Local Governments S.2722 of 2007/2008
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS : This bill, if passed, will have no fiscal implications for the State of New York. Merged localities will save money through increased efficiencies, economies of scale, and shared tax bases.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 642 2009-2010 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 12, 2009 ___________Introduced by Sen. LARKIN -- 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 subdivision (d) of section 1 of article 9 of the constitution, in relation to the powers of local government Section 1. Resolved (if the Assembly concur), That subdivision (d) of section 1 of article 9 of the constitution be amended to read as follows: (d) No local government or any part of the territory thereof shall be annexed to another until the people, if any, of the territory proposed to be annexed shall have consented thereto by majority vote on a refer- endum [and until the governing board of each local government, the area of which is affected, shall have consented thereto upon the basis of a determination that the annexation is in the over-all public interest. The consent of the governing board of a county shall be required only where a boundary of the county is affected. On or before July first, nineteen hundred sixty-four, the legislature shall provide, where such consent of a governing board is not granted, for adjudication and deter- mination, on the law and the facts, in a proceeding initiated in the supreme court, of the issue of whether the annexation is in the over-all public interest]. 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. EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD89062-01-9