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New York's Constitutional Convention Proposal Is Defeated

09 Novembre 2017

The proposal for a state constitutional convention is just one of three ballot proposals impacting municipalities when voters hit the polls across NY on Election Day, Tuesday, November 7, 2017.

7 will consider a ballot measure on whether to hold a constitutional convention.

With 46 percent of precincts reporting, more than 74 percent of ballots counted were against the convention, with the opposition boosted by a $3 million campaign from labor unions that feared a convention could lead to a rolling back of collective bargaining rights and pension benefits. Towns, villages and counties with "no viable alternative" to using forest preserve land for public projects could make withdrawals of small parcels of needed land. The Associated Press called the election at 9:50 p.m. with 719,243 voters saying no to the ballot question and 189,984 saying yes as of that time.

"Our coalition galvanized voters across a broad ideological spectrum to rise up and oppose a corrupt process that would enrich Albany's political class while leaving the rest of us behind". The convention vote that year failed 63 percent to 37 percent, though the number of ballots left blank outnumbered yes and no votes on the question. Most New Yorkers said, No, according to the NYS Board of Elections unofficial tally.

New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento said working men and women "understood what was at stake".

In a statement Tuesday night, New Yorkers Against Corruption-a campaign composed of labor unions, business organizations, progressive and conservative groups, lauded the vote. "Voters ultimately agreed that the con con was just a con - a costly process full of risks and unknowns".

Businessmen hopeful of tax cuts at GST Council meet today
It also believes that the Council might look to lower rates for items in the consumer, light electrical and home building sectors. The proposal comes in the backdrop of consumer complaints that some retailers charge the new indirect tax on MRP of products.

Others point to the legislative pen as a way to reform, not a convention.

Both Planned Parenthood and New York State Right to Life opposed the referendum, fearing changes in abortion law that would not be to their liking.

The second proposal sought the public's approval to amend the state constitution to "allow a court to reduce or revoke the public pension of a public officer who is convicted of a felony that has a direct and actual relationship to the performance of the public officer's existing duties". "For crimes committed after the enactment of the constitutional amendment, not only would taxpayer money be saved, but also the message would go out that the Empire State no longer tolerates - and bankrolls - corruption", Buchwald said in a recent Op Ed published by Examiner News.

The proposal had wide support from environmental groups across the state and Adirondack boosters, who say it will make it easier to fix roads and bridges and install the type of infrastructure needed to expand broadband Internet access.

The amendment establishes a "land bank" of up to 250 acres within the forest preserve.

New York's Constitutional Convention Proposal Is Defeated