The New York State Constitutional Convention

Here you will find the facts, function, and future of the New York State Constitutional Convention and why it is important that we, the people, take advantage of this rare opportunity.

*The suggested amendments are my own and do not reflect popular opinion or desire.

*Should anyone have suggestions for an amendment to our State Constitution, feel free to send them via the Contact section of this website.

 

The New York State Constitution

[Elector: a person who has the right to vote in an election.]

ARTICLE XIX of the New York State Constitution
AMENDMENTS TO CONSTITUTION

[Future constitutional conventions; how called; election of delegates; compensation; quorum; submission of amendments; officers; employees; rules; vacancies]
§2. At the general election to be held in the year nineteen hundred fifty-seven, and every twentieth year thereafter, and also at such times as the legislature may by law provide, the question “Shall there be a convention to revise the constitution and amend the same?” shall be submitted to and decided by the electors of the state; and in case a majority of the electors voting thereon shall decide in favor of a convention for such purpose, the electors of every senate district of the state, as then organized, shall elect three delegates at the next ensuing general election, and the electors of the state voting at the same election shall elect fifteen delegates-at-large.

The delegates so elected shall convene at the capitol on the first Tuesday of April next ensuing after their election, and shall continue their session until the business of such convention shall have been completed.

Every delegate shall receive for his or her services the same compensation as shall then be annually payable to the members of the assembly and be reimbursed for actual traveling expenses, while the convention is in session, to the extent that a member of the assembly would then be entitled thereto in the case of a session of the legislature.

A majority of the convention shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, and no amendment to the constitution shall be submitted for approval to the electors as hereinafter provided, unless by the assent of a majority of all the delegates elected to the convention, the ayes and noes being entered on the journal to be kept.

The convention shall have the power to appoint such officers, employees and assistants as it may deem necessary, and fix their compensation and to provide for the printing of its documents, journal, proceedings and other expenses of said convention.

The convention shall determine the rules of its own proceedings, choose its own officers, and be the judge of the election, returns and qualifications of its members. In case of a vacancy, by death, resignation or other cause, of any district  delegate elected to the convention, such vacancy shall be filled by a vote of the remaining delegates representing the district in which such vacancy occurs.

If such vacancy occurs in the office of a delegate-at-large, such vacancy shall be filled by a vote of the remaining delegates-at-large.

Any proposed constitution or constitutional amendment which shall have been adopted by such convention, shall be submitted to a vote of the electors of the state at the time and in the manner provided by such convention, at an election which shall be held not less than six weeks after the adjournment of such convention.

Upon the approval of such constitution or constitutional amendments, in the manner provided in the last preceding section, such constitution or constitutional amendment, shall go into effect on the first day of January next after such approval. (Formerly §2 of Art. 14. Renumbered and amended by Constitutional Convention of 1938 and approved by vote of the people November 8, 1938; further amended by vote of the people November 6, 2001.)

Flowchart of the Constitutional Convention Process

New York's Constitutional Convention Process

 Constitutional Convention Milestones

Constitutional Convention Milestones

 

Changes to the Constitution that can create a better New York for all of its citizens

Possible Constitutional Convention Amendments

We can create a new system of education that concentrates on our children’s gifts and talents, not their disabilities, language, color, or socio-economic standing.

We can eliminate the Assembly and become a  unicameral state saving the New York tax payer more than $8 million dollars a year in assembly saleries and per-diem payments.

We can legalize the recreational use of marijuana and pardon all felony first time offenders who are in prison only for selling marijuana breaking a link in the “school to prinson” pipeline chain.

We can initiate term limits for all elected officials ending “pay to play” contracts, insider trading opportunities, lobbying payoffs, and a host of other criminal activities committed by elected officials.

We can limit campaign contributions and funding so that every citizen has an equal opportunity to run for office in local and State elections.

We can put an end to the high taxes and create a more business friendly New York.

We can put an end to the extreme poverty and social inequities that exist in large urban areas of the State.

ARTICLE I BILL OF RIGHTS

Section 9 Paragraph 1

  • 9. 1. No law shall be passed abridging the rights of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government, or any department thereof; nor shall any divorce be granted otherwise than by due judicial proceedings; except as hereinafter provided, no lottery or the sale of lottery tickets, poolselling, bookmaking, or any other kind of gambling, except lotteries operated by the state and the sale of lottery tickets in connection therewith as may be authorized and prescribed by the legislature, the net proceeds of which shall be applied exclusively to or in aid or support of education in this state as the legislature may prescribe, except pari-mutuel betting on horse races as may be prescribed by the legislature and from which the state shall derive a reasonable revenue for the support of government, and except casino gambling at no more than seven facilities as authorized and prescribed by the legislature shall hereafter be authorized or allowed within this state; and the legislature shall pass appropriate laws to prevent offenses against any of the provisions of this section. (Amendment approved by vote of the people November 5, 2013.)

Remove:

[the net proceeds of which shall be applied exclusively to or in aid or support of education in this state as the legislature may prescribe]

Insert:

[the net proceeds of which shall be applied exclusively to education.]

Section 11 Paragraph 1

  • 11. No person shall be denied the equal protection of the laws of this state or any subdivision thereof. No person shall, because of race, color, creed or religion, be subjected to any discrimination in his or her civil rights by any other person or by any firm, corporation, or institution, or by the state or any agency or subdivision of the state. (New. Adopted by Constitutional Convention of 1938 and approved by vote of the people November 8, 1938; amended by vote of the people November 6, 2001.)

Add:

No person shall be denied the equal protection of the laws of this state or any subdivision thereof. No person shall, because of race, color, creed or religion, or socio-economic status be subjected to any discrimination in his or her civil rights by any other person or by any firm, corporation, or institution, or by the state or any agency or subdivision of the state. (New. Adopted by Constitutional Convention of 1938 and approved by vote of the people November 8, 1938; amended by vote of the people November 6, 2001.)

ARTICLE II SUFFRAGE

[Qualifications of voters] Section 1. Every citizen shall be entitled to vote at every election for all officers elected by the people and upon all questions submitted to the vote of the people provided that such citizen is eighteen years of age or over and shall have been a resident of this state, and of the county, city, or village for thirty days next preceding an election. (Amended by Constitutional Convention of 1938 and approved by vote of the people November 8, 1938; further amended by vote of the people November 2, 1943; November 6, 1945; November 6, 1961; November 8, 1966; November 7, 1995.)

Insert:

Persons convicted of a felony, having served the conditions of their parole shall be, upon release from those conditions immediately be entitled to vote at every election for all officers elected by the people.

[Bi-partisan registration and election boards]

  • 8. All laws creating, regulating or affecting boards or officers charged with the duty of qualifying voters, or of distributing ballots to voters, or of receiving, recording or counting votes at elections, shall secure equal representation of the two political parties which, at the general election next preceding that for which such boards or officers are to serve, cast the highest and the next highest number of votes. All such boards and officers shall be appointed or elected in such manner, and upon the nomination of such representatives of said parties respectively, as the legislature may direct. Existing laws on this subject shall continue until the legislature shall otherwise provide. This section shall not apply to town, or village elections. (Formerly §6. Renumbered and amended by Constitutional Convention of 1938 and approved by vote of the people November 8, 1938; further amended by vote of the people November 7, 1995.)

Amended to read:

[Bi-partisan registration and election boards] §8. All laws creating, regulating or affecting boards or officers charged with the duty of qualifying voters, or of distributing ballots to voters, or of receiving, recording or counting votes at elections, shall secure equal representation of the political parties or non-party registrants which, at the general election next preceding that for which such boards or officers are to serve, cast the highest and the next highest number of votes. All such boards and officers shall be appointed or elected in such manner, and upon the nomination of such representatives of said parties respectively, as the legislature may direct. Existing laws on this subject shall continue until the legislature shall otherwise provide. This section shall not apply to town, or village elections. (Formerly §6. Renumbered and amended by Constitutional Convention of 1938 and approved by vote of the people November 8, 1938; further amended by vote of the people November 7, 1995.)

ARTICLE III LEGISLATURE

[Legislative power]

Section 1. The legislative power of this state shall be vested in the senate and assembly.

Amended to read:

Section 1. The legislative power of this state shall be vested in the senate.

[Number and terms of senators and assemblymen]

  • 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 for two 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. (Amended by vote of the people November 2, 1937; November 6, 2001.)

Amended to read:

  • 2. The senate shall consist of one hundred 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 for two years. [This amendment provides for the abolition of the assembly and the institution of ombudsman authority.]

More suggestions to follow

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