Relates to the form of proposed constitutional amendments and questions.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the election law, in relation to the form of proposed constitutional amendments and questions; and to repeal subdivision 3 of section 4-108 of such law
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
This bill clarifies which arm of government is responsible for writing the text of proposals, propositions and referendums that appear on a ballot.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 1 amends subdivision 2 of section 4-108 of the election law to clearly empower the Attorney General to determine the text of a ballot question once both houses of the legislature have passed the authorizing legislation.
Section 2 repeals subdivision 3 of section 4-108 of the election law.
Section 3 sets the effective date.
Current law is unclear on where the responsibility for proposal language lies. The state Board of Elections is charged with transmitting the text of any proposal, proposition or referendum to the local Boards of Elections, however the Attorney General is to advise in the preparation of the submission. This bill will clarify that the Attorney General, as the state's chief law enforcement officer, is to have responsibility for the text of any statewide ballot question.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
This is a new bill.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6614 IN SENATE February 13, 2014 ___________Introduced by Sen. SQUADRON -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Elections AN ACT to amend the election law, in relation to the form of proposed constitutional amendments and questions; and to repeal subdivision 3 of section 4-108 of such law THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 2 of section 4-108 of the election law, as amended by chapter 136 of the laws of 1978, is amended to read as follows: 2. The form in which the proposed amendment, proposition or question is to be submitted shall consist of only an abbreviated title indicating generally and briefly, and in a clear and coherent manner using words with common and every-day meanings, the subject matter of the amendment, proposition or question. SUCH FORM OF SUBMISSION SHALL BE SET FORTH BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOLLOWING THE PASSAGE BY BOTH HOUSES OF LEGISLATION AUTHORIZING THE SUBMISSION OF SUCH AMENDMENT, PROPOSITION OR QUESTION TO THE PEOPLE FOR THEIR APPROVAL. If more than one such amendment, proposi- tion or question is to be voted upon at such election, each such amend- ment, proposition or question respectively shall be separately and consecutively numbered. S 2. Subdivision 3 of section 4-108 of the election law is REPEALED. S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD13078-01-3