A03380 Summary:

BILL NO    A03380 

SAME AS    No same as 

SPONSOR    Calhoun (MS)

COSPNSR    Thiele, Sayward

MLTSPNSR   Butler, Conte, Crouch, Finch, Kolb, Miller J, Oaks, Tedisco

Renum Art 20 to be Art 21, add Art 20 SS1 - 7, Constn

Reserves to the people of the state the power to propose laws and amendments to
the constitution and to adopt or reject such proposals upon a referendum;
provides petition procedures for placing such proposals on the ballot; limits
use of referendums relating to laws for health and safety; requires referendums
for expenditure of moneys to clearly state the source of such funds; prohibits
governor from vetoing approved proposals.
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A03380 Actions:

BILL NO    A03380 

01/25/2011 referred to judiciary
01/27/2011 to attorney-general for opinion
04/25/2011 opinion referred to judiciary
01/04/2012 referred to judiciary
01/18/2012 to attorney-general for opinion
02/16/2012 opinion referred to judiciary
05/22/2012 held for consideration in judiciary
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A03380 Votes:

There are no votes for this bill in this legislative session.
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A03380 Memo:

BILL NUMBER:A3380

TITLE OF BILL:  CONCURRENT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY propos-
ing an amendment to the constitution, in relation to providing the elec-
tors with the power of initiative and referendum

PURPOSE  OR  GENERAL  IDEA OF BILL: This legislation would amend the New
York State Constitution to reserve for  the  people  of  the  State  the
powers of initiative and referendum.

SUMMARY  OF  SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Sections 1 through 5 of the concurrent
resolution amend section 13 of article  3,  section  14  of  article  3,
section  1 of article 19, section 7 of article 4 and section 16 of arti-
cle 3 of the State Constitution,  respectively,  to  accommodate  a  new
article 20 that reserves to the people of the State the powers of initi-
ative  and  referendum. Section 6 of the concurrent resolution renumbers
article 20 of the Constitution as article 21  and  provides  for  a  new
article  20.  The  new  article 20 reserves to New Yorkers the powers of
initiative and referendum.

JUSTIFICATION: In his 2002 State of the State Address,  Governor  Pataki
highlighted the need to provide the electors of the State with the power
of  initiative  and  referendum.  Much has been said in the last several
years about the low rate of voter turnout in this State and  across  the
country.  One  probable  reason  for  this apathy is that many voters no
longer believe that their vote counts, that no matter who they vote  for
the  issues  they  are  most  interested  in will not be debated and the
changes they would like to see happen the  most  will  not  occur.  This
belief  causes people to feel disconnected from their government, under-
mining the foremost principle of a democracy:  government by the people,
for the people. There is one sure way to at least alleviate if not elim-
inate this feeling of disconnection, allow New Yorkers to have a  direct
voice  in State government. Amending the Constitution to reserve for the
people the powers of initiative and  referendum  will  accomplish  this.
This  concurrent  resolution  will allow citizens to propose and vote in
favor of or against new laws and constitutional amendments  as  well  as
the repeal of existing laws, when it is demonstrated that a proposal has
the  support  of  a  minimum  number  of citizens, as evidenced by their
signatures on a petition. For an initiative  or  referendum  measure  to
appear  on  the  ballot,  a  petition setting forth the proposal must be
filed with the State Board of Elections and be signed by electors  equal
in number to 5% of the votes cast for all candidates for governor at the
last  gubernatorial  election.    Such  signatures must include at least
10,000  signatures  from  each  of  three-fifths  of  the  congressional
districts of the State. To be enacted, an initiative or referendum meas-
ure must be approved by a majority of the electors voting on the measure
Statewide  and by a majority of the electors in at least three-fifths of
the congressional districts of the  State.  This  concurrent  resolution
prohibits  the  Legislature  from  reconsidering  a  statute repealed by
referendum for a period of two years and prohibits the Legislature  from
repealing  or amending a law or constitutional amendment adopted through
initiative for a period of two years. After two years,  any  legislative

proposal  to amend or repeal a measure adopting initiative or referendum
shall be put to the voters at the next general election for approval  or
rejection.  The amendment provides that the process for gathering signa-
tures  for a petition in support of an initiative or referendum proposal
and for presenting the petition to  the  Board  of  Elections  shall  be
conducted  in  substantial conformity with section 6-140 of the Election
Law. Finally, the Legislature is directed to provide limits  on  amounts
that may be contributed to efforts in support of or opposition to propo-
sitions appearing on the Statewide ballot. People are demanding a great-
er  voice  in  their  government. Citizen initiative and referendum will
give the people a stronger voice and allow them more of a voice  in  the
legislative process.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

1989: A.4889 Died in Judiciary
1990: A.9779 Died in Judiciary
1991: A.6056 Died in Judiciary
1992: A.9342 Died in Judiciary
1994: A.9645 Referred to Judiciary
1996: A.1864 Died in Judiciary
1998: A.2386 Held for consideration in Judiciary
2000: A.3589 Died in Judiciary
2001-02: A.3957 Referred to Judiciary - S.6177A Referred to Judiciary
2003-04: A.2240 Held for consideration in Judiciary
2005-06: A.2031 Held for consideration in Judiciary
2007-08: A.4360 Held for consideration in Judiciary
2009-10: A.2527 Held for consideration in Judiciary

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Minimal

EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately
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A03380 Text:

                           S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
       ________________________________________________________________________

                                         3380

                              2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                                 I N  A S S E M B L Y

                                   January 25, 2011
                                      ___________

       Introduced by M. of A. CALHOUN, THIELE, SAYWARD -- Multi-Sponsored by --
         M.  of A. BUTLER, CONTE, CROUCH, FINCH, KOLB, J. MILLER, OAKS, TEDISCO
         -- read once and referred to the Committee on Judiciary

                   CONCURRENT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY

       proposing an amendment to the constitution, in relation to providing the
         electors with the power of initiative and referendum

    1    Section 1.  Resolved (if the Senate concur), That article  20  of  the
    2  constitution  be  renumbered article 21 and a new article 20 be added to
    3  read as follows:
    4                                 ARTICLE XX
    5                          INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM
    6    SECTION 1.  THE LEGISLATIVE POWER OF THIS STATE SHALL BE VESTED IN THE
    7  SENATE AND ASSEMBLY, BUT THE PEOPLE RESERVE TO THEMSELVES THE  POWER  TO
    8  PROPOSE  LAWS AND AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION, AND TO ADOPT OR REJECT
    9  THE SAME, AT THE POLLS, INDEPENDENT OF THE LEGISLATURE, AND ALSO RESERVE
   10  THE POWER, AT THEIR OWN OPTION, TO  SO  ADOPT  OR  REJECT  ANY  ACT,  OR
   11  SECTION OR PART OF ANY ACT, PASSED BY THE LEGISLATURE.
   12    S  2.  A. THE INITIATIVE IS THE POWER OF THE ELECTORS TO PROPOSE STAT-
   13  UTES AND AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION AND TO  ADOPT  OR  REJECT  THEM.
   14  EVERY  INITIATIVE STATUTE WHICH MANDATES THE EXPENDITURE OF MONIES SHALL
   15  CLEARLY STATE THE REVENUES FROM WHICH  SUCH  MONIES  SHALL  BE  DERIVED.
   16  EVERY  INITIATIVE  STATUTE  WHICH  MANDATES  A  REDUCTION IN REVENUES OR
   17  EXPENDITURES SHALL  CLEARLY  STATE  WHAT  REVENUES  WILL  REPLACE  THOSE
   18  REDUCED OR THE EXPENDITURES AND SERVICES TO BE REDUCED OR ELIMINATED.
   19    B.   AN INITIATIVE MEASURE MAY BE PROPOSED BY PRESENTING TO THE SECRE-
   20  TARY OF STATE A PETITION THAT SETS FORTH THE TEXT OF THE PROPOSED  STAT-
   21  UTE  OR  AMENDMENT  TO  THE  CONSTITUTION  AND IS CERTIFIED TO HAVE BEEN
   22  SIGNED BY ELECTORS EQUAL IN NUMBER TO FIVE PERCENT  IN  THE  CASE  OF  A
   23  STATUTE,  AND EIGHT PERCENT IN THE CASE OF AN AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITU-
   24  TION, OF THE VOTES FOR ALL CANDIDATES FOR GOVERNOR AT THE LAST  GUBERNA-
   25  TORIAL ELECTION.

        EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                             [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                  LBD89038-01-1
       A. 3380                             2

    1    C.    THE SECRETARY OF STATE SHALL THEN SUBMIT THE MEASURE AT THE NEXT
    2  GENERAL ELECTION HELD AT LEAST ONE  HUNDRED  THIRTY-ONE  DAYS  AFTER  IT
    3  QUALIFIES OR AT ANY SPECIAL STATEWIDE ELECTION HELD PRIOR TO THAT GENER-
    4  AL ELECTION.  THE GOVERNOR MAY CALL A SPECIAL STATEWIDE ELECTION FOR THE
    5  MEASURE.
    6    D.    AN INITIATIVE MEASURE EMBRACING MORE THAN ONE SUBJECT MAY NOT BE
    7  SUBMITTED TO THE ELECTORS OR HAVE ANY EFFECT EXCEPT THAT ANY  NUMBER  OF
    8  DISCRETE  INITIATIVE  MEASURES  MAY  BE SUBMITTED TO THE ELECTORS AT ANY
    9  GENERAL ELECTION OR ANY SPECIAL STATEWIDE ELECTION CALLED BY THE  GOVER-
   10  NOR.
   11    S  3.    A.    A REFERENDUM IS THE POWER OF THE ELECTORS TO APPROVE OR
   12  REJECT STATUTES OR PARTS OF STATUTES EXCEPT STATUTES NECESSARY  FOR  THE
   13  IMMEDIATE  PRESERVATION  OF THE PUBLIC PEACE, HEALTH OR SAFETY, STATUTES
   14  CALLING ELECTIONS, AND STATUTES PROVIDING FOR TAX  LEVIES  OR  APPROPRI-
   15  ATIONS FOR USUAL CURRENT EXPENSES OF THE STATE.
   16    B.    A REFERENDUM MEASURE MAY BE PROPOSED BY PRESENTING TO THE SECRE-
   17  TARY OF STATE A PETITION CERTIFIED TO HAVE BEEN SIGNED BY ELECTORS EQUAL
   18  IN NUMBER TO FIVE PERCENT OF THE VOTES FOR ALL CANDIDATES  FOR  GOVERNOR
   19  AT  THE  LAST GUBERNATORIAL ELECTION, ASKING THAT THE STATUTE OR PART OF
   20  IT BE SUBMITTED TO THE ELECTORS.
   21    C.  THE SECRETARY OF STATE SHALL THEN SUBMIT THE MEASURE AT  THE  NEXT
   22  GENERAL  ELECTION HELD AT LEAST THIRTY-ONE DAYS AFTER IT QUALIFIES OR AT
   23  A SPECIAL STATEWIDE ELECTION HELD PRIOR TO THAT GENERAL ELECTION.    THE
   24  GOVERNOR MAY CALL A SPECIAL STATEWIDE ELECTION FOR THE MEASURE.
   25    S  4.   A.  AN INITIATIVE OR REFERENDUM MEASURE APPROVED BY A MAJORITY
   26  OF THE VOTES THEREON TAKES EFFECT FIVE DAYS AFTER THE DATE OF THE  OFFI-
   27  CIAL  DECLARATION OF THE VOTE BY THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS UNLESS THE
   28  MEASURE PROVIDES OTHERWISE.  IF A REFERENDUM PETITION IS FILED AGAINST A
   29  PART OF A STATUTE THE REMAINDER OF THE STATUTE SHALL NOT BE DELAYED FROM
   30  GOING INTO EFFECT.
   31    B.   IF PROVISIONS OF TWO  OR  MORE  MEASURES  APPROVED  AT  THE  SAME
   32  ELECTION  CONFLICT,  THOSE OF THE MEASURE RECEIVING THE HIGHEST AFFIRMA-
   33  TIVE VOTE SHALL PREVAIL.
   34     C. ANY ISSUE DEFEATED BY REFERENDUM CANNOT  BE  RECONSIDERED  BY  THE
   35  LEGISLATURE  FOR  A PERIOD OF TWO YEARS. ANY INITIATIVE MEASURE THAT HAS
   36  BEEN ADOPTED CANNOT BE REPEALED OR AMENDED  BY  THE  LEGISLATURE  FOR  A
   37  PERIOD OF TWO YEARS.
   38    D.    THE VETO POWER OF THE GOVERNOR SHALL NOT EXTEND TO AN INITIATIVE
   39  OR REFERENDUM STATUTE APPROVED BY THE ELECTORS.
   40    E.  PRIOR TO CIRCULATION OF AN INITIATIVE OR REFERENDUM  PETITION  FOR
   41  SIGNATURES,  A COPY SHALL BE SUBMITTED TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL WHO SHALL
   42  PREPARE A TITLE AND SUMMARY OF THE MEASURE AS PROVIDED BY LAW.
   43    F.  THE LEGISLATURE SHALL PROVIDE THE MANNER IN WHICH PETITIONS  SHALL
   44  BE  CIRCULATED,  PRESENTED  AND CERTIFIED, AND MEASURES SUBMITTED TO THE
   45  ELECTORS WITHIN A TWO YEAR PASSAGE OF THIS AMENDMENT  TO  THE  CONSTITU-
   46  TION.
   47    S  5.   INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM POWERS MAY BE EXERCISED BY THE ELEC-
   48  TORS OF EACH MUNICIPALITY UNDER PROCEDURES THAT  THE  LEGISLATURE  SHALL
   49  PROVIDE.
   50    S 6.  NO AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION, AND NO STATUTE PROPOSED TO THE
   51  ELECTORS  BY THE LEGISLATURE OR BY INITIATIVE, THAT NAMES ANY INDIVIDUAL
   52  TO HOLD ANY OFFICE, OR NAMES OR IDENTIFIES ANY  PRIVATE  CORPORATION  TO
   53  PERFORM ANY FUNCTION OR TO HAVE ANY POWER OR DUTY OR ATTEMPTS TO ABOLISH
   54  AN  EXISTING  STATE AGENCY, MAY BE SUBMITTED TO THE ELECTORS OR HAVE ANY
   55  EFFECT.
       A. 3380                             3

    1    S 7.  NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF THIS  ARTICLE,  UPON  ALL
    2  INITIATIVE  AND  REFERENDUM  PETITIONS  PROVIDED FOR IN THIS ARTICLE, IT
    3  SHALL BE ADDITIONALLY NECESSARY TO FILE FROM EACH  OF  ONE-HALF  OF  THE
    4  COUNTIES  OF THE STATE SUCH PETITIONS BEARING THE SIGNATURES OF NOT LESS
    5  THAN ONE-HALF OF THE DESIGNATED PERCENTAGE OF THE ELECTORS OF SUCH COUN-
    6  TIES.
    7    S  2. Resolved (if the Senate concur), That the foregoing amendment be
    8  referred to the first regular legislative session  convening  after  the
    9  next  succeeding  general  election  of members of the assembly, and, in
   10  conformity with  section  1  of  article  19  of  the  constitution,  be
   11  published for 3 months previous to the time of such election.
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