A06501 Summary:

BILL NO    A06501 

SAME AS    No same as 

SPONSOR    Kolb (MS)

COSPNSR    Raia, Tobacco, Corwin, Conte, Giglio, Lopez P, Palmesano

MLTSPNSR   Barclay, Hawley, Sayward

Ren Art 20 to be Art 21, add Art 20 SS1 - 11, Constn

Establishes an initiative and referendum process so that voters are able to
bring issues to the state legislature for consideration; defines the term
"initiative" as the power of the electors to propose amendments to the
constitution and to propose laws; defines the term "referendum" as the power of
the electors to approve or reject laws or parts of laws passed by the
legislature.
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A06501 Actions:

BILL NO    A06501 

03/21/2011 referred to judiciary
03/22/2011 to attorney-general for opinion
04/27/2011 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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A06501 Votes:

There are no votes for this bill in this legislative session.
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A06501 Memo:

BILL NUMBER:A6501

TITLE OF BILL:  CONCURRENT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY propos-
ing  an  amendment  to  the  constitution,  in relation to providing for
initiative and referendum petitions for electors

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To establish an initiative and referen-
dum process so that voters are able to bring issues to the state  legis-
lature for consideration.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Article 20 of the constitution is renum-
bered  article  21 and a new article 20 is added to authorize the initi-
ative and referendum process. An initiative is defined as the  power  of
the  electors  to propose amendments to the constitution and to adopt or
reject them. A referendum is defined as the power  of  the  electors  to
approve  or  reject certain laws or parts of laws passed by the legisla-
ture.

An initiative or referendum proposal can  be  brought  to  the  attorney
general's  attention  with  the  signature  of  250 voters. The attorney
general is authorized to prepare the petition to comply  with  technical
requirements.  The  petition  is  then circulated for signature by 6% of
electors who voted for governor in the last  gubernatorial  election  if
the  proposal  amends a statute. If the proposal amends the constitution
8% of such electors are required. The proposal is then submitted to  the
legislature  for  consideration.  If  not  passed  within 6 months after
receipt from the Secretary of State, the measure shall be  submitted  to
the  voters at the next general election, provided a subsequent petition
is circulated and receives the requisite number of signatures.

JUSTIFICATION: Recent surveys have indicated that New Yorkers would like
a greater level  of  involvement  in  pursuing  issues  for  legislative
passage.  Over  26  states  currently  have  some form of initiative and
referendum process which has proven successful in providing an alternate
means of addressing public opinion. This proposal  ensures  that  voters
are  able  to  voice  their opinions in a more direct way, to make their
government more responsive.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:   2009-2010: A.6816  -  Opinion  referred  to
Judiciary  Committee;  2007-2008:  A.5096 - Held in Judiciary Committee;
2005-2006: A.4749: - Held  for  consideration  in  Judiciary  Committee;
2003-2004:  S.520/A.4117:  - Held for consideration in Judiciary Commit-
tee; 2001-2002: S.1987/A.3956: - opinion referred to  Judiciary  Commit-
tee;  1999-2000:  S.2820/A.5020:  -  Held for consideration in Judiciary
Committee; 1997-1998: S.1458/A.2385 - Held for consideration in  Judici-
ary Committee;

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

EFFECTIVE  DATE:  After successive passage by the legislature and subse-
quent approval at general election.
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A06501 Text:

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

                                         6501

                              2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                                 I N  A S S E M B L Y

                                    March 21, 2011
                                      ___________

       Introduced  by  M.  of  A.  KOLB,  RAIA, TOBACCO, CORWIN, CONTE, GIGLIO,
         P. LOPEZ -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A. BARCLAY, HAWLEY, SAYWARD --
         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 for
         initiative and referendum petitions for electors

    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    LEGISLATIVE POWER SHALL BE VESTED IN THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY, BUT  THE
    7  PEOPLE RESERVE TO THEMSELVES THE POWER TO PROPOSE LAWS AND AMENDMENTS TO
    8  THE  CONSTITUTION  AND  TO  ADOPT  OR  REJECT THEM AT THE POLLS IF AFTER
    9  SUBMITTING THE SAME ACCORDING TO  THE  METHOD  PROVIDED  HEREIN  TO  THE
   10  LEGISLATURE  THAT  BODY  FAILS TO TAKE POSITIVE ACTION, AND ALSO RESERVE
   11  THE POWER, AT THEIR OWN OPTION, TO  SO  ADOPT  OR  REJECT  ANY  ACT,  OR
   12  SECTION  OR  PART  OF ANY ACT, PASSED BY THE LEGISLATURE. THESE RESERVED
   13  POWERS ARE THE INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM.
   14    SECTION 1. AN INITIATIVE OR REFERENDUM PETITION SHALL  SET  FORTH  THE
   15  FULL  TEXT  OF THE LAW OR AMENDMENT, HEREINAFTER DESIGNATED AS THE MEAS-
   16  URE, WHICH IS PROPOSED BY THE PETITION.
   17    S 2. (A) AN INITIATIVE IS THE POWER OF THE ELECTORS TO PROPOSE  AMEND-
   18  MENTS  TO  THE  CONSTITUTION  AND TO PROPOSE LAWS AND TO ADOPT OR REJECT
   19  THEM.
   20    (B) A REFERENDUM IS THE POWER OF THE ELECTORS  TO  APPROVE  OR  REJECT
   21  LAWS OR PARTS OF LAWS, EXCEPT LAWS CALLING ELECTIONS; PROVIDED, HOWEVER,
   22  THE  EXCEPTION CONTAINED IN THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL NOT BE INTERPRETED OR
   23  HELD TO RESTRICT ANY POWERS GRANTED TO THE ELECTORS IN  SUBDIVISION  (A)
   24  OF THIS SECTION.
   25    S  3.  NO  INITIATIVE  OR  REFERENDUM MEASURE MAY BE PROPOSED WHICH IS
   26  BEYOND THE REACH OF THE STATE LEGISLATURE ITSELF; OR  THE  OPERATION  OF

        EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                             [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                  LBD89063-01-1
       A. 6501                             2

    1  WHICH  IS  RESTRICTED  TO  A  PARTICULAR  TOWN, CITY, OR OTHER POLITICAL
    2  SUBDIVISION WHICH IS NOT STATEWIDE; OR NAMING ANY PERSON TO HOLD  PUBLIC
    3  OFFICE;  OR ABOLISHING A STATE AGENCY; OR APPROPRIATING SPECIFIC SUMS OF
    4  MONEY FROM THE TREASURY.
    5    S  4.  AN  INITIATIVE  OR  REFERENDUM  MEASURE EMBRACING MORE THAN ONE
    6  SUBJECT MAY NOT BE SUBMITTED  TO  THE  ATTORNEY  GENERAL  NOR  HAVE  ANY
    7  EFFECT.
    8    S  5.  AN  INITIATIVE  OR  REFERENDUM PETITION SHALL BE PROPOSED BY AT
    9  LEAST TWO HUNDRED FIFTY SPONSORS WHO ARE REGISTERED VOTERS IN THE  STATE
   10  OF  NEW  YORK.  ONE SPONSOR SHALL BE DESIGNATED CHAIRPERSON BY THE PETI-
   11  TIONING COMMITTEE AND SHALL REPRESENT  THE  COMMITTEE.  NO  SOONER  THAN
   12  JANUARY  FIRST  OF  THE  YEAR PRECEDING THE CONVENING OF THE LEGISLATIVE
   13  SESSION IN WHICH THE MEASURE WILL BE INTRODUCED, THE PROPOSAL  SHALL  BE
   14  SUBMITTED  TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL. THE ATTORNEY GENERAL SHALL RENDER AN
   15  OPINION AS TO ITS CONSTITUTIONALITY IF A STATUTE,  OR  ITS  EFFECT  UPON
   16  OTHER PROVISIONS OF THE CONSTITUTION IF AN AMENDMENT AND ALSO RENDER HIS
   17  OR HER ADVICE AS TO THE FORM OF THE PROPOSED MEASURE AND AS TO ITS SUIT-
   18  ABILITY TO ACCOMPLISH ITS PURPOSE. HE OR SHE SHALL ALSO CERTIFY THAT THE
   19  MEASURE  IS NOT SUBSTANTIALLY THE SAME IN CONTENT OR INTENT AS ANY MEAS-
   20  URE WHICH HAS BEEN QUALIFIED FOR SUBMITTAL TO THE VOTERS IN LIKE  MANNER
   21  AT  EITHER  OF  THE  TWO PRECEDING BIENNIAL STATE ELECTIONS, AND THAT IT
   22  CONTAINS ONLY SUBJECTS NOT  EXCLUDED  FROM  THE  POPULAR  INITIATIVE  OR
   23  REFERENDUM.  THE  ATTORNEY  GENERAL'S DETERMINATION SHALL BE MADE WITHIN
   24  THIRTY DAYS AFTER RECEIPT OF SAME. THE MEASURE SHALL THEN  BE  SUBMITTED
   25  TO  THE  SECRETARY  OF  STATE  FOR APPROVAL OF FORM AND PREPARATION OF A
   26  PETITION TITLE REPRESENTING THE INTENT OF THE PROPOSAL.   THE  SECRETARY
   27  OF  STATE  SHALL  PREPARE,  IN  CONSULTATION WITH THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE
   28  SPONSORING COMMITTEE, AN  UNBIASED,  NON-ARGUMENTATIVE  SUMMARY  OF  THE
   29  PROPOSAL  NOT  TO  EXCEED  ONE  HUNDRED  WORDS WHICH SHALL APPEAR ON THE
   30  PETITIONS. THE SECRETARY OF STATE SHALL PROVIDE  BLANKS  CONTAINING  THE
   31  SUMMARY  OF  THE  PROPOSED  MEASURE  FOR  THE USE OF SUBSEQUENT SIGNERS.
   32  ACTION BY THE SECRETARY OF STATE SHALL BE COMPLETED WITHIN  THIRTY  DAYS
   33  OF RECEIPT OF THE PETITION FROM THE ATTORNEY GENERAL.
   34    S  6.  THE  PETITIONING  COMMITTEE ASSUMES FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE
   35  CIRCULATION OF THE PETITIONS. ONLY REGISTERED VOTERS OF NEW  YORK  STATE
   36  MAY  CARRY OR SIGN PETITIONS. PETITION BEARERS SHALL CARRY A COPY OF THE
   37  FULL TEXT OF THE INITIATIVE OR REFERENDUM. PETITIONS SHALL BE CIRCULATED
   38  TO OBTAIN SIGNATURES OF ELECTORS EQUAL IN NUMBER TO SIX PERCENT  OF  THE
   39  ELECTORS  WHO  VOTED  FOR GOVERNOR IN THE LAST GUBERNATORIAL ELECTION IF
   40  THE MEASURE IS A STATUTE, OR EIGHT PERCENT IF  THE  MEASURE  AMENDS  THE
   41  CONSTITUTION. NO MORE THAN FIVE PERCENT OF THE REQUIRED NUMBER OF SIGNA-
   42  TURES  SHALL  COME FROM ANY ONE COUNTY OF THE STATE. THE PETITIONS SHALL
   43  BE FILED WITH THE SECRETARY OF STATE AT LEAST TEN DAYS BEFORE THE LEGIS-
   44  LATURE CONVENES AT THE BEGINNING OF ITS ANNUAL SESSION. THE SECRETARY OF
   45  STATE SHALL SUBMIT THE MEASURE TO BOTH HOUSES OF THE LEGISLATURE  WITHIN
   46  THIRTY DAYS OF RECEIPT OF SAME, FOLLOWING CERTIFICATION OF SIGNATURES IN
   47  A  LIKE  MANNER AS EMPLOYED IN CERTIFYING THOSE OF AN INDEPENDENT CANDI-
   48  DATE FOR STATEWIDE OFFICE. THE LEGISLATURE SHALL PROVIDE THE  MANNER  IN
   49  WHICH  PETITIONS SHALL BE CIRCULATED, PRESENTED AND CERTIFIED, AND MEAS-
   50  URES SUBMITTED TO THE ELECTORS WITHIN A TWO YEAR PASSAGE OF THIS  AMEND-
   51  MENT TO THE CONSTITUTION.
   52    S  7. IF THE MEASURE INTRODUCED BY INITIATIVE OR REFERENDUM IS A STAT-
   53  UTE AND IS PASSED BY BOTH HOUSES OF THE LEGISLATURE AND APPROVED BY  THE
   54  GOVERNOR IT SHALL BECOME A LAW; HOWEVER, THE GOVERNOR MAY VETO THE MEAS-
   55  URE.  BOTH  HOUSES  OF  THE LEGISLATURE MUST PASS THE MEASURE WITHIN SIX
   56  MONTHS AFTER RECEIPT OF THE MEASURE FROM THE SECRETARY OF STATE OR OVER-
       A. 6501                             3

    1  RIDE A GUBERNATORIAL VETO OF THE MEASURE WITHIN THE SAME TIME PERIOD. IF
    2  THE LEGISLATURE FAILS TO DO SO THE SECRETARY OF STATE SHALL  SUBMIT  THE
    3  MEASURE  TO  THE  VOTERS AT THE NEXT GENERAL ELECTION IF SUCH SUBMISSION
    4  SHALL  BE  DEMANDED  BY  A SUPPLEMENTARY PETITION CERTIFIED TO HAVE BEEN
    5  SIGNED BY ELECTORS IN EQUAL NUMBER TO ONE PER CENTUM OF  THE  NUMBER  OF
    6  VOTES  CAST  FOR  ALL  CANDIDATES FOR GOVERNOR AT THE LAST GUBERNATORIAL
    7  ELECTION AND FILED WITH THE SECRETARY OF STATE WITHIN ONE HUNDRED TWENTY
    8  DAYS AFTER SUCH PROPOSED LAW OR REFERENDUM SHALL HAVE BEEN  REJECTED  OR
    9  PASSED  IN AN AMENDED FORM BY THE LEGISLATURE OR AFTER THE EXPIRATION OF
   10  SUCH TERM OF FOUR MONTHS, IF NO ACTION HAS BEEN TAKEN THEREON. NO  ELEC-
   11  TOR  SHALL  BE  DISQUALIFIED FROM SIGNING SUCH SUPPLEMENTARY PETITION BY
   12  REASON OF HAVING FIRST SIGNED THE PETITION AS HEREINBEFORE  PROVIDED  IN
   13  THIS  SECTION.  IF  THE MEASURE IS AMENDED BY THE LEGISLATURE AND PASSES
   14  BOTH HOUSES BOTH THE AMENDED MEASURE AND THE ORIGINAL MEASURE  SHALL  BE
   15  PUT ON THE BALLOT. THE ELECTORS MAY CHOOSE ONE OR REJECT BOTH.
   16    S  8. IF THE MEASURE IS A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT IT SHALL BE SUBMIT-
   17  TED TO THE LEGISLATURE FOR PASSAGE.  IF THE MEASURE FAILS TO PASS EITHER
   18  HOUSE OF THE LEGISLATURE IN ITS ORIGINAL FORM, IN THE TWO YEAR  TERM  IN
   19  WHICH  IT  IS  FIRST INTRODUCED, OR, IF THE MEASURE IN ITS ORIGINAL FORM
   20  FAILS TO PASS EITHER HOUSE OF THE NEXT SEPARATELY ELECTED LEGISLATURE IN
   21  EITHER YEAR OF ITS TWO YEAR TERM AFTER HAVING BEEN PASSED BY THE  PREVI-
   22  OUSLY  ELECTED  LEGISLATURE,  THE PETITIONING COMMITTEE SHALL PRESENT TO
   23  THE SECRETARY OF STATE WITHIN NINETY DAYS OF A NEGATIVE VOTE  OF  EITHER
   24  HOUSE  ON THE PROPOSED MEASURE OR UPON ADJOURNMENT WITHOUT ACTION ON THE
   25  PROPOSED MEASURE AN ADDITIONAL NUMBER OF SIGNATURES, WHICH  MAY  OR  MAY
   26  NOT  BE  DUPLICATES OF THE SIGNATURES ON THE ORIGINAL PETITION, EQUAL TO
   27  FOUR PERCENT OF THOSE VOTING IN THE LAST GUBERNATORIAL ELECTION, WITH NO
   28  MORE THAN FIVE PERCENT OF THESE COMING FROM ANY ONE COUNTY OF THE STATE.
   29  UPON RECEIPT OF THE ADDITIONAL SIGNATURES THE SECRETARY OF  STATE  SHALL
   30  HAVE FIFTEEN DAYS TO CERTIFY THEIR VALIDITY. HE OR SHE SHALL THEN SUBMIT
   31  THE  MEASURE  TO  THE VOTERS AT THE NEXT GENERAL ELECTION, PROVIDED THAT
   32  THE SAID ELECTION IS TO BE HELD MORE THAN FOUR WEEKS FOLLOWING FILING OF
   33  THE ADDITIONAL SIGNATURES TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE.
   34    S 9. INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM MEASURES MAY NOT  BE  REPEALED  BY  THE
   35  LEGISLATURE  FOR  A  PERIOD  OF TWO YEARS EXCEPT BY A TWO-THIRDS VOTE OF
   36  BOTH HOUSES OR UNLESS SUCH LAW OR REFERENDUM PERMITS AMENDMENT OR REPEAL
   37  SUBJECT TO THE APPROVAL OF THE ELECTORS OR WITHOUT THE APPROVAL  OF  THE
   38  ELECTORS.
   39    S 10. IF IN THE OPINION OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, ANY TWO INITIATIVE OR
   40  REFERENDUM  MEASURES  APPROVED BY THE PEOPLE IN THE SAME ELECTION ARE IN
   41  CONFLICT, THE ONE HAVING THE HIGHER NUMBER OF AFFIRMATIVE VOTES AT  SUCH
   42  ELECTION  SHALL  GOVERN.  A  CONSTITUTIONAL  AMENDMENT  APPROVED  AT ANY
   43  ELECTION SHALL GOVERN ANY LAW APPROVED AT THE SAME ELECTION.
   44    S 11. AN INITIATIVE OR REFERENDUM MEASURE APPROVED BY  A  MAJORITY  OF
   45  THE  VOTES  CAST THEREON SHALL TAKE EFFECT ONE DAY AFTER THE DATE OF THE
   46  CANVASS OF SUCH VOTE BECOMES  OFFICIAL    UNLESS  THE  MEASURE  PROVIDES
   47  OTHERWISE.
   48    S  2. Resolved (if the Senate concur), That the foregoing amendment be
   49  referred to the first regular legislative session  convening  after  the
   50  next  succeeding  general  election  of members of the assembly, and, in
   51  conformity with  section  1  of  article  19  of  the  constitution,  be
   52  published for 3 months previous to the time of such election.
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