Removes constitutional provision that the lieutenant-governor shall act as governor when the governor is absent from the state; provides likewise for the case in which the lieutenant-governor is absent from the state and the case in which the temporary president of the senate is absent from the state.
NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A1470
TITLE OF BILL:
CONCURRENT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY proposing an amendment
to article 4 of the constitution, relating to the lieutenant-governor
acting as governor
This bill would remove the constitutional provision that the lieuten-
ant-governor shall act as governor whenever the governor is absent from
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
§ 1- Amends the third undesignated paragraph of § 5 of Article 4 of the
§ 2- Amends the third, fourth and fifth undesignated paragraphs of § 6
of Article 4 of the Constitution.
§ 3 - Effective date and process of adoption.
The exact meaning of the constitutional provision that the lieutenant
governor shall act as governor whenever the governor is absent from the
state has recently been the subject of controversy. The absence of
provisions has, in some states, resulted in policy clashes between the
incumbent and the temporary governor. The provision was originally
designed to ensure that the governor's duties would be carried out when
it was impossible to communicate with him during his absence from the
In today's world of readily available communication, the governor is no
longer unable to govern merely because he travels out of state.
Improved and more rapid transportation and a global economy has made out
of state travel more routine and more essential to effectively govern.
The absence provision has long ago outlived its intended purpose and
should be eliminated from the Constitution.
2021-22 - A.9817 - Opinion referred to Judiciary
2019-20 - A. 3725/S. 2031;
2017-18 A. 1979/S.1232;
2015-16 A. 4812/S. 4471;
2013-2014 A. 2707/S. 2231;
Subsequent to passage in two consecutive legislative sessions and
approval at the next general election.
STATE OF NEW YORK
2023-2024 Regular Sessions
January 17, 2023
Introduced by M. of A. BUTTENSCHON -- read once and referred to the
Committee on Governmental Operations
CONCURRENT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY
proposing an amendment to article 4 of the constitution, relating to the
lieutenant-governor acting as governor
1 Section 1. Resolved (if the Senate concur), That the third undesig-
2 nated paragraph of section 5 of article 4 of the constitution be amended
3 to read as follows:
4 In case the governor is impeached[, is absent from the state] or is
5 otherwise unable to discharge the powers and duties of the office of
6 governor, the lieutenant-governor shall act as governor until the
7 inability shall cease or until the term of the governor shall expire.
8 § 2. Resolved (if the Senate concur), That the third, fourth and fifth
9 undesignated paragraphs of section 6 of article 4 of the constitution be
10 amended to read as follows:
11 In case of vacancy in the offices of both governor and lieutenant-gov-
12 ernor or if both of them shall be impeached[, absent from the state] or
13 otherwise unable to discharge the powers and duties of the office of
14 governor, the temporary president of the senate shall act as governor
15 until the inability shall cease or until a governor shall be elected.
16 In case of vacancy in the office of lieutenant-governor alone, or if
17 the lieutenant-governor shall be impeached[, absent from the state] or
18 otherwise unable to discharge the duties of office, the temporary presi-
19 dent of the senate shall perform all the duties of lieutenant-governor
20 during such [vacancy or] inability.
21 If, when the duty of acting as governor devolves upon the temporary
22 president of the senate, there be a vacancy in such office or the tempo-
23 rary president of the senate shall be [absent from the state or] other-
24 wise unable to discharge the duties of governor, the speaker of the
25 assembly shall act as governor during such [vacancy or] inability.
26 § 3. Resolved (if the Senate concur), That the foregoing amendment be
27 referred to the first regular legislative session convening after the
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 1470 2
1 next succeeding general election of members of the assembly, and, in
2 conformity with section 1 of article 19 of the constitution, be
3 published for 3 months previous to the time of such election.