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A05498 Summary:

BILL NOA05498
 
SAME ASSAME AS S05416
 
SPONSORDiPietro
 
COSPNSRSalka, Lawrence
 
MLTSPNSRByrnes, Kolb
 
Ren Art 20 to be Art 21, add Art 20, Art 9 4, Art 8 2-b & 2-c, Art 11, Art 19 4, Art 5 1, amd Art 19 2, rpld Art 11, Art 5 1, Art 3 6, Constn
 
Proposes a constitutional amendment to divide the state into three autonomous regions; the New Amsterdam Region, the New York Region and the Montauk Region; provides regional governors and regional legislators; provides only for a state sales tax; divides various departments and agencies; provides for separate court systems and prison systems.
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A05498 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                          5498
 
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                    February 12, 2019
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced by M. of A. DiPIETRO -- read once and referred to the Commit-
          tee on Local Governments
 
                    CONCURRENT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY
 
        proposing  the  addition  of  a  new  article 20 to the constitution, in
          relation to dividing New York state  into  three  autonomous  regions;
          proposing  an  amendment to article 8 of the constitution, in relation
          to local, school and special district budgets; proposing an  amendment
          to  article  19  of  the  constitution in relation to formation of new
          towns; proposing an amendment to  section  2  of  article  19  of  the
          constitution,  in relation to the constitutional convention; proposing
          an amendment to article 11 of the constitution, in relation to  public
          education;  proposing  an amendment to article 19 of the constitution,
          in relation to limiting voting on a  new  constitution;  proposing  an
          amendment  to  article 3 of the constitution, in relation to the state
          legislature; proposing an amendment to article 5 of the  constitution,
          relating  to  officers  and civil departments; repealing article 11 of
          the constitution relating to education; repealing section 6 of article
          3 of the constitution relating to the state legislature; and repealing
          section 1 of article 5 of the constitution relating  to  officers  and
          civil departments
 
     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                                   REGIONS
 
     6    Section  1. The state of New York shall be divided into three Regions:
     7  the New Amsterdam Region, the New York Region and the Montauk Region.
     8    (a) The New York Region shall consist of the counties of Bronx, Kings,
     9  New York, Queens and Richmond.
    10    (b) The New Amsterdam Region shall consist of the counties of  Albany,
    11  Allegany,  Broome,  Cattaraugus,  Cayuga, Chautauqua, Chemung, Chenango,
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD89094-02-9

        A. 5498                             2
 
     1  Clinton, Columbia, Cortland, Delaware, Dutchess, Erie, Essex,  Franklin,
     2  Fulton,  Genesee,  Greene, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Living-
     3  ston, Madison, Monroe, Montgomery, Niagara, Oneida,  Onondaga,  Ontario,
     4  Orange,  Orleans, Oswego, Otsego, Putnam, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenec-
     5  tady, Schoharie, Schuyler,  Seneca,  St.  Lawrence,  Steuben,  Sullivan,
     6  Tioga, Tompkins, Ulster, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Wyoming, and Yates.
     7    (c)  The  Montauk  Region  shall  consist  of  the counties of Nassau,
     8  Suffolk, Rockland, and Westchester.
     9    (d) Any new counties not listed shall be assigned by state law to  the
    10  correct Region.
    11    (e)  The  New Amsterdam Regional capital shall be within Albany County
    12  unless the New Amsterdam  Region  by  Regional  law  picks  a  different
    13  location.  The New York Regional capital shall be within Richmond County
    14  unless the New York Region by Regional law picks a  different  location.
    15  The  Montauk  Regional capital shall be within Westchester County unless
    16  the Montauk Region by Regional law picks a different location.
    17    § 2. (a) The legislative power of each Region shall be vested  in  two
    18  houses;  a  Regional Senate and a Regional Assembly, whose members shall
    19  be elected by the United States citizens who are  18  years  of  age  or
    20  older  and  reside in their respective districts.  Regional Assemblyper-
    21  sons and Regional Senators must be a United  States  citizen  and  be  a
    22  resident  of  the  respective  district  or reside within seven miles of
    23  their respective district.
    24    (b) Regional Senators will also serve in the New  York  State  Senate;
    25  Regional Assemblypersons also will serve in the New York State Assembly.
    26    (c)  New Amsterdam Regional Senate shall have 24 Senators, the Montauk
    27  Region shall have 12 Senators, and the New York  Regional  Senate  shall
    28  have 34 Senators.
    29    (d) (i) The number of New Amsterdam Regional Assembly members shall be
    30  calculated  by  dividing  the  population of the New Amsterdam Region by
    31  125,000 and rounded upward to the nearest odd whole number.
    32    (ii) The number of New York Regional Assembly members shall be  calcu-
    33  lated  by  dividing the population of the New York Region by 125,000 and
    34  rounded upward to the nearest odd whole number.
    35    (iii) The number of Montauk Regional Assembly members shall be  calcu-
    36  lated by dividing the population of Montauk Region by 125,000 and round-
    37  ed upward to the nearest odd whole number.
    38    (e)  Each  federal census taken decennially shall be controlling as to
    39  the number of inhabitants in the state  or  any  part  thereof  for  the
    40  purposes  of  the apportionment of members of the assembly and readjust-
    41  ment or alteration of Regional senate and assembly districts next occur-
    42  ring in so far as such census and the tabulation thereof purport to give
    43  the information necessary therefor. The first year  after  this  Article
    44  takes  effect  the  Court  of Appeals shall draw the Regional Senate and
    45  Assembly  districts;  thereafter  each  Regional  Legislature  shall  by
    46  Regional  law  draw  contiguous Senate and Assembly districts of roughly
    47  equal population for that Region; however one Assembly district and  one
    48  Senate  district may include parts of Westchester and Nassau counties if
    49  needed to keep districts roughly equal in population. Regional Assembly-
    50  persons and Regional Senators terms will be two years.  The  term  shall
    51  start at noon on December 1st following their election and end two years
    52  later  at  noon on December 1st. No town shall have more than one assem-
    53  blyperson unless its population exceeds the population  required  for  a
    54  Regional assembly district.
    55    (f) Each Regional Legislature shall hold its regular session in months
    56  of  January,  February,  and March of each year adjourning no later than

        A. 5498                             3
 
     1  March 20th. Each Regional senator shall have one vote in their  Regional
     2  senate.  Each  Regional  assemblyperson  shall  have  one  vote in their
     3  Regional assembly.
     4    (g) The fiscal year of each Region will be from March 1 to last day of
     5  February  of  the  following year.   If at noon on the date a new fiscal
     6  year starts all the appropriate region's budget appropriation bills  and
     7  revenue  bills have not been enacted into law, then that region's previ-
     8  ous fiscal year's budget shall become that region's default budget. Once
     9  a regional default budget takes  effect,  no  part  of  the  appropriate
    10  proposed regional executive budget shall be enacted into law. The appro-
    11  priations  shall remain the same as the previous fiscal year's appropri-
    12  ation laws. The appropriations given to each county, city, town, village
    13  or school district shall also remain the same as that region's  previous
    14  fiscal  year. No moneys may be transferred between appropriation laws or
    15  other changes to default budget may be enacted, unless approved  by  new
    16  supplemental  regional appropriation bill(s) which are enacted into law.
    17  Any appropriations that were designed to be non-recurring appropriations
    18  shall be dropped from the default regional budget. Supplemental regional
    19  appropriation bill(s) voted on between April 1st and  December  31st  of
    20  any calendar year shall require at least three-fifths (3/5) vote of both
    21  of  the appropriate regional legislature's houses with the ayes and nays
    22  entered on the journal, to be enacted. The default regional budget shall
    23  be treated as a regular regional budget and expire at  the  end  of  the
    24  fiscal  year. Supplemental regional appropriation bill(s) are any appro-
    25  priation bill created by the appropriate regional legislature.
    26    (h) The following consolidated chapters of New York  State  law  shall
    27  become the Regional laws of each Region: Abandoned Property, Agriculture
    28  and  Markets, Alcoholic Beverage Control, Alternative County Government,
    29  Arts and Cultural Affairs, Banking, Benevolent Orders,  Boxing  Sparring
    30  and  Wrestling,  Business  Corporation,  Canal,  Civil  Practice Law and
    31  Rules, Civil Rights, Civil Service  (Regional  and  Local),  Cooperative
    32  Corporations,  Correction, County, Criminal Procedure, Debtor and Credi-
    33  tor, Domestic Relations, Economic  Development  Law,  Education,  Elder,
    34  Election  (Regional  and  Local),  Eminent  Domain Procedure, Employer's
    35  Liability,  Energy,  Environmental  Conservation,  Estates  Powers   and
    36  Trusts, Executive, Financial Services Law, General Associations, General
    37  Business, General City, General Construction, General Municipal, General
    38  Obligations,   Highway,   Insurance,   Judiciary  (Superior,  Appellate,
    39  Supreme, County and Local)  Labor,  Legislative  (Regional  and  Local),
    40  Lien,  Limited  Liability  Company  Law,  Local Finance, Mental Hygiene,
    41  Military, Multiple Dwelling, Multiple Residence,  Municipal  Home  Rule,
    42  Navigation, New York State Printing and Public Documents, Not-For-Profit
    43  Corporation,  Parks,  Recreation and Historic Preservation, Partnership,
    44  Penal, Personal Property, Private Housing Finance,  Public  Authorities,
    45  Public  Buildings,  Public  Health, Public Housing, Public Lands, Public
    46  Officers, Public Service, Racing, Pari-Mutuel Wagering and Breeding Law,
    47  Railroad, Rapid  Transit,  Real  Property,  Real  Property  Actions  and
    48  Proceedings,  Real  Property Tax, Religious Corporations, Rural Electric
    49  Cooperative, Second  Class  Cities,  Social  Services,  Soil  and  Water
    50  Conservation Districts, State, State Administrative Procedure Act, State
    51  Finance,  State Technology, Statute of Local Governments, Tax (except it
    52  may not enact or collect any Regional sales  taxes),  Town,  Transporta-
    53  tion,  Transportation Corporations, Uniform Commercial Code, Vehicle and
    54  Traffic, Village, Volunteer Ambulance Workers' Benefit, Volunteer  Fire-
    55  fighters'  Benefit,  Workers'  Compensation,  Family  Court, Surrogate's
    56  Court Procedure, Uniform City Court,  Uniform  District  Court,  Uniform

        A. 5498                             4
 
     1  Justice  Court, and any other types of laws not listed in State Legisla-
     2  ture's list in section 3 of this article. Regional laws for these  types
     3  of  laws  shall  be  supreme  over  state  and local laws. Any state law
     4  changed  by this section to a Regional law shall have any mention of the
     5  Court of Appeals changed to that Region's Superior Court. No person  can
     6  be  imprisoned for any number of civil offenses for more than six months
     7  in any calendar year. New York City Civil Court, New York City  Criminal
     8  Court  law  will become New York Regional law. Each Regional Legislature
     9  may amend, repeal, or create new laws, but any changes will  only  apply
    10  to  that  Region.  No  offense greater than a misdemeanor with a maximum
    11  penalty less than or equal to one year in jail may be enacted  by  local
    12  governments.  Felonies  with  a maximum penalty greater than one year in
    13  jail can only be enacted under Regional law.  Misdemeanors may  also  be
    14  enacted  under  Regional  law. Asset forfeiture shall be allowed only if
    15  the person(s) who own the asset is/are convicted of a felony  and  asset
    16  was  used  in  the crime and/or was obtained as result of the crime. The
    17  election law requirements for getting on the ballot, for Regional Assem-
    18  blyperson shall be the same or less strict than they were  for  a  state
    19  Assemblyman;  for Regional Senator shall be the same or less strict than
    20  they were for state Senator. Any other laws that are not listed in  this
    21  paragraph or in section 3 of this article shall expire on July 1st, five
    22  years after the regional governors take office for the first time unless
    23  reenacted  as  a  Regional  Law.   All local laws, rules, ordinances and
    24  regulations must be filed with the  appropriate  regional  secretary  of
    25  state  before  they can take effect or be enforced. In the New Amsterdam
    26  region; except for local land use  zoning  laws  all  such  local  laws,
    27  rules,  ordinances  and/or regulations shall expire ten years after they
    28  are filed. Those that were pre-existing to this article will  expire  on
    29  January  1, three years after the regional governors take office for the
    30  first time, unless reenacted and refiled.
    31    (i) All Regional Senators and Regional Assemblypersons  shall  receive
    32  the  same  salary  set by their Regional law. They shall not receive any
    33  additional compensation from the Region  other  than  reimbursement  for
    34  traveling  and lodging expenses if they live more than 20 miles from the
    35  Regional capital. However, the Regional Speakers and the Regional senate
    36  temporary senate presidents shall  receive  the  same  salary  as  their
    37  Regional  lieutenant  governor.  After the salary is set, no law varying
    38  the compensation of Regional Senators or Regional Assemblypersons  shall
    39  take  effect  until  an  election of Regional Assemblypersons shall have
    40  intervened. Each Regional Assemblyperson shall be  provided  a  district
    41  office  of  approximately the same square footage in his or her district
    42  and an office at the Regional capital. The same amount shall be given to
    43  each Assemblyperson to pay for  staff.  Such  amount  shall  be  set  by
    44  Regional  law.  Each  Regional  Senator  shall  be provided two district
    45  offices totaling approximately the same square footage, in  his  or  her
    46  district and an office at the Regional capital. The same amount shall be
    47  given  to  each  Regional Senator to pay for staff. Such amount shall be
    48  set by Regional law.
    49    (j) The Regional Legislature may impeach for crimes  and  remove  from
    50  office  a  Regional  governor,  Regional  lieutenant  governor, Regional
    51  Secretary of State, local elected officials or appointed Regional  offi-
    52  cers  in  its  Region by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of each Regional house.
    53  The state or Regional governor or any other official may not remove from
    54  office any elective sheriff, county clerk, district  attorney  or  other
    55  elective  local  official; they may only be removed mid-term by impeach-
    56  ment or conviction of a felony. A  regional  governor  may  supersede  a

        A. 5498                             5
 
     1  district attorney in his/her region for specific case(s) by appointing a
     2  special  prosecutor  in a manner defined by regional law. The region may
     3  by regional law reassign types  of  cases  where  there  might  exist  a
     4  conflict of interest with their regional attorney general.
     5    (k)  A majority of each Regional house shall constitute a quorum to do
     6  business. Each Regional house shall  determine  the  rules  of  its  own
     7  proceedings  and  is  the judge of the elections, returns and qualifica-
     8  tions of its own members;  shall  choose  its  own  officers;  and  each
     9  Regional  senate  shall  choose  a temporary president and each Regional
    10  assembly shall choose a speaker. No person shall serve as both  a  State
    11  and  Regional  temporary  senate  president,  nor anyone serve as both a
    12  state and Regional speaker. Each Regional house of each Regional  legis-
    13  lature  shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and publish the same on
    14  the internet, except such parts as two-thirds (2/3) of its members agree
    15  require secrecy. At request of one fifth (1/5) of its members, the  ayes
    16  and  nays  shall  be  entered on the journal. The doors of each Regional
    17  house shall be kept open, except when the public welfare  shall  require
    18  secrecy.  Neither  house  in  a  Regional legislature shall, without the
    19  consent of the other, adjourn for more than two days. Any bill may orig-
    20  inate in either house of the Regional legislature, and all bills  passed
    21  by  one  house  may be amended by the other.  No bill shall be passed or
    22  become a law unless it shall have been printed and placed on the  inter-
    23  net,  in its final form, at least seven calendar days prior to its final
    24  passage, unless the appropriate regional governor,  or  the  appropriate
    25  acting  regional  governor,  shall have certified, under his or her hand
    26  and the seal of the state or Region, the facts which in his or her opin-
    27  ion necessitate an immediate vote thereon, in which case  the  law  must
    28  expire  ten calendar days after passage, unless it is re-passed a second
    29  time after it has been on the internet for seven  days;  nor  shall  any
    30  bill  be  passed  or become a law, except by the assent of a majority of
    31  the members elected to each branch of a Regional legislature;  and  upon
    32  the  last  reading of a bill, no amendment thereof shall be allowed, and
    33  the question upon its final passage shall be taken immediately thereaft-
    34  er, and the ayes and nays entered on the journal.  Pre-existing  tax  or
    35  revenue  laws  shall  expire  on  July 1st five years after this article
    36  takes effect.  Every law or bill which imposes, continues or  revives  a
    37  tax  or raises revenue shall require at least three fifths (3/5) vote of
    38  both Regional houses to pass, the ayes and nays entered on the journals,
    39  and must distinctly state the tax and the object to which it  is  to  be
    40  applied.  It  shall  not  be sufficient to refer to any other law to fix
    41  such tax or object; all such laws must expire on  July  1st  five  years
    42  after  being  passed. Any law or bill that will mandate that any county,
    43  district, or other municipality must spend its own funds to comply  with
    44  such law shall require at least three fifths (3/5) vote of both Regional
    45  houses to pass, the ayes and nays entered on the journals, all such laws
    46  must  expire  on July 1st ten years after being passed. Any policy, rule
    47  or regulation that will mandate that  any  county,  district,  or  other
    48  municipality must spend its own funds to comply with it must be ratified
    49  by  at  least  three fifths (3/5) vote of both Regional houses, the ayes
    50  and nays entered on the journal, before it takes effect and must  expire
    51  on  July 1st ten years after being ratified.  Pre-existing mandates that
    52  require a county or other municipality to spend its own funds to  comply
    53  with  shall  expire on July 1st one year and 7 months after the regional
    54  governors take office for the first time. Medical costs  for  the  needy
    55  shall  not be delegated by the State or by a Region to counties or other
    56  municipalities, and shall be paid by the Region  up  to  limits  set  by

        A. 5498                             6
 
     1  Regional  law.  A  Region  may  by Regional law contract debts in antic-
     2  ipation of the receipt of taxes and revenues, direct  or  indirect,  for
     3  the  purposes and within the amounts of appropriations theretofore made.
     4  Notes or other obligations for the moneys so borrowed shall be issued as
     5  may be provided by law, and shall with the interest thereon be paid from
     6  such  taxes and revenues within one year from the date of issue.  Except
     7  for anticipation debt listed above no Regional debt shall  be  hereafter
     8  contracted  by  or  on  behalf  of the Region, unless such debt shall be
     9  authorized by law, for some single work or  purpose,  to  be  distinctly
    10  specified therein. No such debt law shall take effect until it shall, at
    11  a  November  general election, have been submitted to the people of that
    12  Region, and have received a majority of  all  the  votes  cast  for  and
    13  against  it  at  such  election. Any such Regional debt voted on must be
    14  paid off within twenty years.   The Regional legislature  shall  provide
    15  for  the  maintenance  and  support  of a system of free common schools,
    16  wherein all the children of its Region may be educated.
    17    § 3. (a) The office of State Senator is abolished;  Regional  Senators
    18  shall  replace  state  senators.  When  meeting as the State Senate each
    19  Regional Senator's vote shall be weighed by the  population  of  his/her
    20  Regional Senate District.
    21    (b)  The  office of State Assemblyman is abolished; Regional Assembly-
    22  persons shall replace state  Assemblymen.  When  meeting  as  the  State
    23  Assembly  each  Regional  Assemblyperson's  vote shall be weighed by the
    24  population of his/her Regional Assembly District.
    25    (c) The State Legislature shall hold its regular session in the months
    26  of April and May of each year and adjourn its regular session  no  later
    27  than  May  31st. Members of the State Legislature shall not receive more
    28  than fifty dollars a day in compensation from the  state  for  each  day
    29  they  attend  during  the  regular  session and no compensation from the
    30  state during Extraordinary sessions. The State  Legislative  member  may
    31  receive reimbursement when receipts are provided for traveling and lodg-
    32  ing  expenses  if  they  live  more than 30 miles from a state meeting's
    33  location. No additional compensation shall be provided by the state  for
    34  service in the State Legislature.
    35    (d)  The  fiscal  year  of state will be from May 1 to April 30 of the
    36  following year.
    37    (e) State Legislature's power to enact laws shall be limited  only  to
    38  the following types of laws: Election (for state wide offices/issues and
    39  United  States  offices  only),  Executive (for the state only), Indian,
    40  Judiciary (Court of Appeals, Court of Claims,  Judicial  Conduct  only),
    41  Legislative  (for  the  state  only), Military (National Guard and Naval
    42  only), Retirement and Social Security,  State  Administrative  Procedure
    43  Act  (for  the state only), State Finance (for the state only), Tax, but
    44  limited to sales taxes only,  Court  of  Claims,  Civil  Service  (state
    45  employees  only),  relations with the federal government, relations with
    46  other states or Canada for connecting roads, bridges and other  reasons,
    47  and  connecting roads and bridges between Regions. No criminal penalties
    48  greater than a misdemeanor with a  maximum  one  year  in  jail  may  be
    49  enacted by the state or local governments.  Felonies can only be enacted
    50  under  Regional  law;  National  Guard felonies will be prosecuted under
    51  Regional military law. Any other  types  of  laws  not  listed  in  this
    52  section  shall  become Regional laws for each Region and be deleted from
    53  State code on July 1st following the date the  Regional  governors  take
    54  office for the first time.
    55    (f)  Taxes  and revenue for the state shall be limited only to a sales
    56  tax which may not exceed a maximum of four (4) percent. After January 1,

        A. 5498                             7
 
     1  ten years after the regional governors take office for the first time it
     2  may not exceed a maximum of three (3) percent.   The sales tax  for  the
     3  state  and  local governments shall be defined as a tax on sales, on the
     4  receipts from sales and/or receipts from hotel/motel room rentals, leas-
     5  es  or rentals of moveable goods, and/or any taxable services; including
     6  a use tax on items over one thousand dollars  in  value  that  are  used
     7  within  the  state  by  a permanent resident but which were bought else-
     8  where, and which are thus not originally subject to the sales  tax.  The
     9  sales taxes shall never be applied to medicines, food unless served in a
    10  restaurant,  fuel, real property, sale of buildings, and/or nonalcoholic
    11  beverages.  The state shall give 25 percent of its sales tax revenue  to
    12  the  regions  divided  in  proportion to each region's population, until
    13  January 1, ten years after the regional governors take  office  for  the
    14  first  time, which shall be paid on the 15th of every month for previous
    15  month's revenue. The maximum combined state and local  sales  taxes  may
    16  not  exceed  8  percent.  After  January 1, ten years after the regional
    17  governors take office for the first time, the maximum combined sales tax
    18  may not exceed 7 percent.
    19    (g) The state may no longer contract any debt  other  than  in  antic-
    20  ipation  of  the  receipt  of taxes and revenues which must be paid back
    21  within one year.
    22    § 4. Regional Executive. (a) The executive power in each Region  shall
    23  be vested in the Regional governor, who shall hold office for four years
    24  starting  at  noon  on December 1st after his/her election. The Regional
    25  lieutenant governor shall be chosen at the same time, and for  the  same
    26  term.   The  Regional  governors,  Regional  lieutenant  governors,  and
    27  Regional secretary of states shall be elected by  the  people  of  their
    28  respective Regions. They must be a United States citizen and have been a
    29  resident  of  their respective Region for at least five years or a resi-
    30  dent of their respective Region at time of its creation.  Each  Regional
    31  governor  shall  have  power to convene his/her Region's legislature, or
    32  his/her Region's senate only, on extraordinary occasions; for a  special
    33  session which may last no longer than two weeks. No such special session
    34  may be called within six weeks of the end of another special session. In
    35  case  of  the  removal of the Regional governor from office or of his or
    36  her death or resignation,  the  Regional  lieutenant-governor  for  that
    37  Region shall become Regional governor for the remainder of the term.  In
    38  case  the  Regional governor is otherwise unable to discharge the powers
    39  and duties of his/her office the Regional lieutenant-governor  for  that
    40  Region shall act as Regional governor until the inability shall cease or
    41  until  the  term  of  the  Regional  governor  shall expire. If both the
    42  Regional governor and Regional lieutenant governor offices for a  Region
    43  are  vacant  or  otherwise  unable to discharge the powers and duties of
    44  their offices, that Region's Regional Secretary of  State  shall  become
    45  governor,  automatically resigning as a Regional Secretary of State upon
    46  taking the oath as Regional governor.  If all three offices  are  vacant
    47  that  Region's  temporary senate president will become governor automat-
    48  ically resigning as a senator and temporary senate president upon taking
    49  the oath as Regional governor. Each Region shall by Regional law  deter-
    50  mine  how  and who shall become acting Regional governor if the Regional
    51  governor, Regional lieutenant governor, Regional Secretary of State  and
    52  temporary  senate  president offices all are vacant or all are otherwise
    53  unable to discharge the powers and duties of their offices. The Regional
    54  lieutenant-governor shall be the president of the  Regional  senate  for
    55  his/her  Region  but  shall have only a vote if they be equally divided.
    56  The election law petition requirements for getting  on  the  ballot  for

        A. 5498                             8
 
     1  Regional governor, Regional lieutenant governor or Regional Secretary of
     2  State  shall  be the same or less strict than are for State Comptroller.
     3  Any party conventions  shall  be  held  by  Region  for  these  Regional
     4  offices. The salaries of Regional governor, Regional lieutenant governor
     5  and  Regional  Secretary  of  State  shall be by Regional law. After the
     6  salary is set no law varying their compensation shall take effect  until
     7  an election of Regional governor shall have intervened.
     8    (b)  Every bill which shall have passed the Regional senate and assem-
     9  bly shall, before it becomes a law, be presented to the Regional  gover-
    10  nor  for  that Region.  If the appropriate regional governor approve, he
    11  or she shall sign it; but if not, he or she shall return it with his  or
    12  her  objections to the Regional house in which it shall have originated,
    13  which shall enter the objections at large on the journal, and proceed to
    14  reconsider it. In either case he/she  shall  place  a  copy  of  his/her
    15  actions  on  the  internet. If after such reconsideration, two-thirds of
    16  the members voting in that Regional house shall agree to pass the  bill,
    17  it  shall  be  sent  together with the objections, to the other Regional
    18  house, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered; and  if  approved  by
    19  two-thirds  of  the  members  voting  in  that  house, it shall become a
    20  regional law notwithstanding the objections of the appropriate  regional
    21  governor.  In  all such cases the votes in both Regional houses shall be
    22  determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the members  voting  shall
    23  be  entered  on  the journal of each Regional house respectively. If any
    24  bill shall not be returned by the appropriate regional  governor  within
    25  ten days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him or
    26  her,  the  same shall be a law in like manner as if he or she had signed
    27  it, unless the legislature shall,  by  their  adjournment,  prevent  its
    28  return,  in which case it shall not become a law without the approval of
    29  the appropriate regional governor. No bill shall become a law after  the
    30  final  adjournment  of  the Regional legislature, unless approved by the
    31  governor  within  thirty  days  after  such  adjournment.  If  any  bill
    32  presented to the appropriate regional governor contains several items of
    33  appropriation  of money, the appropriate regional governor may object to
    34  one or more of such items while approving of the other  portion  of  the
    35  bill. If a single item of appropriation shall exceed $250,000 the appro-
    36  priate regional governor may reduce the amount appropriated with his/her
    37  objections. In such cases the appropriate regional governor shall append
    38  to  the  bill,  at  the  time of signing it, a statement of the items to
    39  which he or she objects; and the appropriation so objected to shall  not
    40  take  effect. If the Regional legislature be in session, he or she shall
    41  transmit to the Regional house in which the bill originated  a  copy  of
    42  such  statement, and the items objected to shall be separately reconsid-
    43  ered. If on reconsideration one or more of such  items  be  approved  by
    44  two-thirds of the members voting in each appropriate Regional house, the
    45  same  shall  be  part  of the law, notwithstanding the objections of the
    46  appropriate Regional governor.  All the provisions of this paragraph, in
    47  relation to bills not approved by  the  appropriate  Regional  governor,
    48  shall apply in cases in which he or she shall withhold approval from any
    49  item or items contained in a bill appropriating money.
    50    (c)  Each Regional governor shall nominate, and by and with the Advice
    51  and Consent of the Regional Senate for  his/her  Region,  shall  appoint
    52  Regional Commissioners, other public Ministers and Consuls, Authorities,
    53  and  other  government  controlled  Public  Corporations  board members,
    54  Regional Education Commissioner, Justices of the Appellate divisions  in
    55  his  or  her  Region from elected Supreme Court Justices in their Region
    56  for the remainder of their elected term, and all  other  Regional  Offi-

        A. 5498                             9
 
     1  cers,  whose  Appointments  are  not  herein otherwise provided for, and
     2  which shall be established by law. Those appointed by Regional  governor
     3  without  a  fixed term may be removed by the appropriate regional gover-
     4  nor;  but the Regional legislature may by Regional law vest the Appoint-
     5  ment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in their  Regional
     6  governor  alone,  in  the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.
     7  The appropriate regional governor shall be empowered to seek  a  warrant
     8  in a Regional supreme court to hand over a criminal fugitive from anoth-
     9  er  state  or  Region  to the agents of the Governor of the State of New
    10  York to allow for the fugitive's return to  the  location  the  fugitive
    11  committed  the  alleged  crime.  This power can be regulated by Regional
    12  law. Each regional governor shall be empowered to pardon for  civil  and
    13  criminal  offenses  of  state,  regional  law or local law that occurred
    14  within his/her region.
    15    (d) Annually, on or before the first Monday of January  each  Regional
    16  governor  shall  place  on  the  internet and submit to his/her Regional
    17  legislature a budget containing a complete plan of expenditures proposed
    18  to be made before the close of the ensuing fiscal year  and  all  moneys
    19  and revenues estimated to be available therefor, together with an expla-
    20  nation of the basis of such estimates and recommendations as to proposed
    21  Regional  legislation,  if  any, which the appropriate regional governor
    22  may deem necessary to provide moneys and  revenues  sufficient  to  meet
    23  such proposed expenditures. It shall also contain such other recommenda-
    24  tions  and  information  as  the  appropriate regional governor may deem
    25  proper and such additional information as may be required by law. At the
    26  time of submitting the budget to his/her Regional legislature the appro-
    27  priate regional governor shall submit a bill or bills containing all the
    28  proposed appropriations and re-appropriations included in the budget and
    29  the proposed Regional legislation, if any, recommended therein. No money
    30  shall ever be paid out of a Regional treasury or any of  its  funds,  or
    31  any  of the funds under its management, except in pursuance of an appro-
    32  priation by law; nor unless such payment be made within two  years  next
    33  after the passage of such appropriation act; and every such law making a
    34  new  appropriation  or  continuing  or  reviving an appropriation, shall
    35  distinctly specify the sum appropriated, and the object  or  purpose  to
    36  which  it  is to be applied; and it shall not be sufficient for such law
    37  to refer to any other law to fix such sum.
    38    (e) The Regional Secretary of State for each region shall  be  elected
    39  at  the  same  general election as the regional governor and hold office
    40  for the same term.  The Regional Secretary of State  shall  run  his/her
    41  region's  Department  of  State  and  shall  appoint with the Advice and
    42  Consent of appropriate regional Senate for his/her region  the  regional
    43  Commissioner  of  Motor  Vehicles and the regional Attorney-General, and
    44  may remove them. Should the office of Regional  Secretary  of  State  be
    45  vacant  or  he/she become regional governor or acting regional governor,
    46  the appropriate regional Senate will elect a Regional Secretary of State
    47  to serve the remainder of the term.
    48    (f) The Regional Board of Elections for each region shall regulate all
    49  elections with the local boards of elections in its  region.  The  State
    50  Board  of  Elections  shall coordinate and fund elections for state wide
    51  offices/issues  and  United  States  offices  with  regional  Boards  of
    52  Elections.  Ballots  for  state  wide  offices/issues  and United States
    53  offices shall be a separate ballot sheet  from  regional  offices/issues
    54  and  Local Offices/issues. In the New Amsterdam and Montauk regions each
    55  County shall continue to fund a county Board of Elections.  Starting  on
    56  July  1st,  after the regional governors take office for the first time,

        A. 5498                            10
 
     1  the New Amsterdam and Montauk Regional Board of Elections and the County
     2  Boards of Elections shall conduct all regional, local, school  district,
     3  village,  fire  district  and other local district elections in a manner
     4  set by New Amsterdam or Montauk regional law.
     5    §  5. After the regional governors take office for the first time, the
     6  governors' panel shall consist of the State Governor  and  the  Regional
     7  Governors. The governors' panel shall meet weekly to divide departments,
     8  transfer  employees,  property,  assets  as  defined  in this article by
     9  majority vote, and debts as defined in this article. After August 1st of
    10  the year the regional governors take office  for  the  first  time,  the
    11  governors'  panel  shall continue to meet at least once a calendar year.
    12  The Court of Appeals shall have  original  jurisdiction  if  a  Regional
    13  governor  appeals  a decision of this governors' panel or to break a tie
    14  vote of this governors' panel. When a department, office  or  agency  is
    15  divided, its employees will become employees of the Region they primari-
    16  ly  work  in,  or  whose issues they primarily work on. If a department,
    17  office or agency only works on the issues of a single Region its employ-
    18  ees shall all become employees of that Region.    Equipment,  media  and
    19  vehicles  shall  be  divided equitably. Each member of a state board, or
    20  Commission which is divided shall remain on the boards, Regional author-
    21  ity boards, or Regional Commissions for the remainder  of  his/her  term
    22  only  for the Region where he/she is registered to vote (if they are not
    23  registered to vote in New York State their seat shall be vacant  in  all
    24  Regions). Any vacant seats will be filled according to Regional law. Any
    25  Department/  operations and agency/office whose employees' pay and bene-
    26  fits are fully funded by the federal government may be left under  state
    27  by  this  governors'  panel  and  continue to perform their duties while
    28  under the state governor's chain of command. The governors' panel  shall
    29  continue  to review whether any changes in federal funding have occurred
    30  that would require it to be divided at a later  date.  Unless  otherwise
    31  stated  in  this  article such divisions shall be completed by April 1st
    32  after the Regional governors take office for the first time.
    33    (a) The Office of State Attorney-General  is  abolished  and  all  its
    34  powers and duties given to the Regional Attorney-Generals. Department of
    35  Law  and  Office of State Attorney-General employees and duties shall be
    36  divided between the Regional Attorney-Generals' Departments of Law.  For
    37  the  purposes  of  this  constitution, the term "attorney-general" shall
    38  mean "appropriate regional attorney-general" wherever it appears.
    39    (b) The State Comptroller shall have the power to  audit  each  Region
    40  and  charge  the  Regions the reasonable costs related to performing the
    41  audits. The State Comptroller's other powers and duties of  his  or  her
    42  office shall not be affected by the provisions of this article.
    43    (c)  The  Board  of Regents is abolished and all its powers and duties
    44  transferred to the Regional Education Departments. Department of  educa-
    45  tion  employees  shall be divided between the Regional Education Depart-
    46  ments.
    47    (d) The Office of General Services, Department of Civil  Service,  and
    48  State  Board of Elections employees shall be divided into four sections,
    49  some remaining under the state and the rest being  transferred  to  each
    50  Region.  Department  of  Tax and Finance employees shall also be divided
    51  into four sections; provided that those employees whose  duties  involve
    52  sales  taxes  shall  remain  under  the  Governor  and the rest shall be
    53  divided between the Regional Departments of Tax and Finance.
    54    (e) The Division of State Police is abolished and its employees  shall
    55  be  divided  between the Capital Police under the State (which shall not

        A. 5498                            11
 
     1  have more 50 officers), the  New  Amsterdam  Regional  Police  Division,
     2  Montauk Regional Police Division, and New York Regional Police Division.
     3    (f)  The  following  departments,  corporations  or  authorities shall
     4  remain part of New York State government: Court  of  Appeals,  Court  of
     5  Claims,  Office  of  State Comptroller (Department of Audit and Control,
     6  NYS and Local Retirement System), Governor's Office, Metro-North  Commu-
     7  ter Railroad Company and Long Island Rail Road Company whose boards will
     8  be  nominated  by  State  Governor  and confirmed by State Senate, State
     9  Commission on Judicial Conduct, and  Teachers'  Retirement  System.  All
    10  other  Executive  Departments,  offices,  or  agencies not otherwise set
    11  forth in this article shall be abolished and their duties and  employees
    12  shall  be divided between the new Regional Departments or offices of the
    13  same name.
    14    (g) Unless otherwise stated in this article, appointments for  depart-
    15  ments,  offices  and  agencies shall be made by the appropriate regional
    16  governors.  Appointments for vacant local offices shall be made  by  the
    17  appropriate Regional governor.
    18    (h)  (i)  Authorities, and other Public Corporations, who have some of
    19  their board members appointed by the Governor or other  New  York  State
    20  officials,  and  exist in only one region shall have their board members
    21  appointed by that Region's Regional Governor.    Authorities  and  other
    22  government  controlled  Public Corporations who have some of their board
    23  members appointed by Governor or other  New  York  State  officials  and
    24  exist  in  more  than one region shall be divided into regional Authori-
    25  ties, or regional government controlled Public Corporations, by July 1st
    26  after first time  the  regional  governors  take  office.  Each  of  new
    27  regional  Authorities  or  regional  government controlled Public Corpo-
    28  rations shall take over the ownership of the assets, property, and leas-
    29  es in their region. Equipment, media,  and  vehicles  shall  be  divided
    30  equitably,  while debts are divided in proportion to each region's popu-
    31  lation. They shall have their board members appointed by  that  Region's
    32  Regional  Governor. If some or all of the board members of these divided
    33  Authorities and other  government  controlled  Public  Corporations  are
    34  appointed by local officials, each local official may only appoint board
    35  members  of  new  regional Authorities or regional government controlled
    36  Public Corporations in the region that official serves.
    37    (ii) Schools, Libraries, Fire districts or villages that exist in more
    38  than one region shall be divided  along  the  regional  boundary  within
    39  three years after the first time the regional governors take office. The
    40  divided  districts shall take over the ownership of the assets, property
    41  and leases in their region.  Equipment,  media  and  vehicles  shall  be
    42  divided  equitably,  while  debts shall be divided in proportion to each
    43  new district's/village's assessed value.  The  State  Comptroller  shall
    44  assign  employee(s)  to  help  the  districts/villages divide assets and
    45  debts.
    46    (i) The State University of New York shall  be  divided  by  July  1st
    47  after  first  election of Regional governors. All campus, locations, and
    48  employees in the New Amsterdam Region shall be part of the University of
    49  New Amsterdam and its  board(s)  appointed  by  New  Amsterdam  Regional
    50  Governor  with  advice and consent of the New Amsterdam Regional Senate.
    51  The New York and Montauk Regions shall pay at  least  $8,000  every  six
    52  months  for  each  Regional  resident enrolled full time in a Bachelor's
    53  degree program at the University of New  Amsterdam,  for  a  maximum  of
    54  eight  payments,  unless  they shall by New York or Montauk Regional law
    55  set a higher amount. All campus, locations, and employees in the Montauk
    56  Region shall be part of the  University  of  Montauk  and  its  board(s)

        A. 5498                            12
 
     1  appointed  by  the  Montauk Regional Governor with advice and consent of
     2  the Montauk Regional Senate. The New  York  and  New  Amsterdam  Regions
     3  shall  pay  at  least $8,000 every six months for each Regional resident
     4  enrolled  full  time in a Bachelor's degree program at the University of
     5  Montauk, for a maximum of eight payments, unless they shall by New  York
     6  or  New  Amsterdam  Regional  law  set  a  higher  amount.  All  campus,
     7  locations, and employees in the  New  York  Region  including  the  City
     8  University  of  New York shall be part of the University of New York and
     9  its board(s) appointed by the New York Regional Governor with advice and
    10  consent of the New York Regional Senate. The New Amsterdam  and  Montauk
    11  Regions  shall  pay  at  least $8,000 every six months for each Regional
    12  resident enrolled full time  in  a  Bachelor's  degree  program  at  the
    13  University  of  New  York,  for a maximum of eight payments, unless they
    14  shall by New Amsterdam Regional law set a higher amount.
    15    (j) (i) New York State owned  assets,  roads  and  bridges,  property,
    16  revenue,  taxes  (other  than  state  sales taxes), and leases shall, by
    17  April 1 after the first  election  of  Regional  governors,  become  the
    18  assets,  roads  and bridges, property, revenue, taxes, and leases of the
    19  Region of which they are located, earned, or of persons from which  they
    20  are  collected  reside;  except  that  in the case of income taxes, if a
    21  person earns income in one Region and resides  in  another  Region,  the
    22  Region he or she earns the income in shall give him a tax credit for the
    23  amount  of  income  taxes  paid in their home Region on that income. The
    24  following buildings and associated land will  remain  state  owned:  The
    25  State  Capitol  building,  the Legislative Office building, the Governor
    26  Alfred E Smith building, State Comptroller's building at 110  State  St,
    27  State  Comptroller's  building  Parking  Garage, Sheridan Hollow Parking
    28  Garage, and The Governor's Executive Mansion, all located in Albany, and
    29  the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building in Harlem.
    30    (ii) One half of state debt, incurred prior to the effective  date  of
    31  this  article  shall  remain  a  state  obligation; the rest will become
    32  regional debt and shall be divided in  proportion  each  region's  popu-
    33  lation.  Any  payments  for  retirees  of  the  New York State and Local
    34  Retirement System and Teachers' Retirement System shall remain  a  state
    35  obligation. The governors' panel shall designate two correctional facil-
    36  ities for males and one correctional facility for females located in the
    37  New  Amsterdam  Region  to  be owned, rented, or leased by New Amsterdam
    38  Region. The remaining correctional facilities located in the New Amster-
    39  dam Region shall be designated to be owned, rented, or leased by the New
    40  York Region or the Montauk Region. The employees in  these  correctional
    41  facilities  shall  become  New  York  Region employees or Montauk Region
    42  employees.  Inmates in correctional facilities shall be divided so  that
    43  those  who  committed  their  crimes  in the New York Region shall serve
    44  their time in correctional facilities owned, rented, or  leased  by  the
    45  New York Region; while those who committed their crimes in the New Amst-
    46  erdam  Region  shall  serve their time in correctional facilities owned,
    47  rented, or leased by the  New  Amsterdam  Region  and  while  those  who
    48  committed  their  crimes in the Montauk Region shall serve their time in
    49  correctional facilities owned, rented, or leased by the Montauk  Region.
    50  Inmates  shall  be transferred to appropriate correctional facilities by
    51  February 1, two years after the regional governors take office  for  the
    52  first  time.  After  that date a region holding inmate(s) that should be
    53  transferred may charge the appropriate region for costs of  holding  the
    54  inmate(s)  in  their  correctional  facility.  Patients  or residents in
    55  Mental Hospitals, Developmental Centers or Group Homes who are currently
    56  paid for by the state and whose original home address is in a  different

        A. 5498                            13
 
     1  region  than such Mental Hospital, Developmental Center or Group Home is
     2  located shall have their costs paid by their original home region.
     3    (k)  The  Office  of  Court  Administration shall be divided into four
     4  sections; some employees remaining under the chief judge of the Court of
     5  Appeals and the rest being transferred to each Region.  The division  of
     6  Military  and  Naval Affairs' New York National guard and employees will
     7  remain under the New York State governor  as  commander  in  chief;  the
     8  division  of  Military  and  Naval Affairs' New York Guard and employees
     9  shall be divided into Regional guards with  each  Regional  governor  as
    10  commander  in  chief.  Employees and property owned or leased for use of
    11  the Division of Military and Naval Affairs will be divided  appropriate-
    12  ly.
    13    §  6.  Regional  Judiciary.  (a)  The New York Regional Governor shall
    14  appoint, with the advice and consent of the New  York  Regional  Senate,
    15  county  judges  and/or  Supreme Court Justices in the New York Region to
    16  serve the remainder of their term of office as Chief Justice or  associ-
    17  ate  justice on New York Regional Superior Court. There shall be a Chief
    18  Justice and four associate justices on the New  York  Regional  Superior
    19  Court.  The  New  York  Regional Superior Court shall hear appeals, in a
    20  manner defined by New York Regional law, from the First and Second judi-
    21  cial departments, on Regional laws or local laws within the  Region  and
    22  shall  have  the  final  determination in interpreting New York Regional
    23  laws or local laws and whether such laws  are  constitutional.  Salaries
    24  and  expenses of all courts in the First and Second judicial departments
    25  shall be set and paid in a manner defined by New York Region law. When a
    26  vacancy occurs in the New York Regional Superior Court  or  a  New  York
    27  Regional  supreme  court  and the Regional senate is not in session, the
    28  New York regional governor shall call it back in a  special  session  to
    29  fill the vacancy.
    30    (b) The New Amsterdam Regional Governor shall appoint, with the advice
    31  and  consent  of the New Amsterdam Regional Senate, county judges and/or
    32  Supreme Court Justices in the New Amsterdam Region, to serve the remain-
    33  der of their term of office as Chief Justice or associate justice on the
    34  New Amsterdam Regional Superior Court. There shall be  a  Chief  Justice
    35  and  four  associate  justices  on  the  New Amsterdam Regional Superior
    36  Court. The New Amsterdam Regional Superior Court shall hear appeals,  in
    37  a  manner  defined  by  New  Amsterdam  Regional law, from the Third and
    38  Fourth judicial departments on Regional laws and shall  have  the  final
    39  determination  in interpreting New Amsterdam Regional laws or local laws
    40  and whether such laws are constitutional.  Salaries and expenses of  all
    41  courts  in  the  Third  and Fourth judicial departments shall be set and
    42  paid in a manner defined by New Amsterdam Region  law.  When  a  vacancy
    43  occurs  in  the New Amsterdam Regional Superior Court or a New Amsterdam
    44  Regional supreme court and the Regional senate is not in session the New
    45  Amsterdam regional governor shall call it back in a special  session  to
    46  fill the vacancy.
    47    (c)  The  Montauk Regional Governor shall appoint, with the advice and
    48  consent of the Montauk Regional Senate,  county  judges  and/or  Supreme
    49  Court  Justices  in Montauk Region; to serve the remainder of their term
    50  of office as Chief Justice or associate justice on the Montauk  Regional
    51  Superior  Court.  There  shall  be  a  Chief  Justice and four associate
    52  justices on the Montauk Regional Superior Court.  The  Montauk  Regional
    53  Superior  Court  shall  hear  appeals,  in  a  manner defined by Montauk
    54  Regional law, from Fifth and Sixth judicial department on Regional  laws
    55  and  shall have the final determination in interpreting Montauk Regional
    56  laws or local laws and whether such laws  are  constitutional.  Salaries

        A. 5498                            14

     1  and  expenses  of  all courts in the Fifth judicial departments shall be
     2  set and paid in a manner defined by Montauk Regional law. When a vacancy
     3  occurs in the Montauk Regional Superior  Court  or  a  Montauk  Regional
     4  supreme  court  and  the  Regional  senate is not in session the Montauk
     5  Regional governor shall call it back in a special session  to  fill  the
     6  vacancy.
     7    (d)  Justices  of  the  Appellate  Division  First and Second judicial
     8  departments shall be appointed by the New York Regional Governor.
     9    (e) Justices of the  Appellate  Division  Third  and  Fourth  judicial
    10  departments shall be appointed by the New Amsterdam Regional Governor.
    11    (f)  Justices  of  the  Appellate  Division  Fifth  and Sixth judicial
    12  departments shall be appointed by the Montauk Regional Governor.
    13    (g) The jurisdiction of each Regional Superior Court shall be  limited
    14  to  the  review of questions of applicable United States law, state law,
    15  regional law, local laws, rules, charters,  ordinances  or  regulations,
    16  when hearing appeals from appellate divisions; except where the judgment
    17  is  of  death where appeal will be to the Court of Appeals, or where the
    18  appellate division within its Region, on reversing or modifying a  final
    19  or interlocutory judgment in an action or a final or interlocutory order
    20  in a special proceeding, finds new facts and a final judgment or a final
    21  order  pursuant thereto is entered. The right to appeal shall not depend
    22  upon the amount involved. The applicable Regional Superior  Court  shall
    23  adopt  and  from  time  to  time may amend a rule to permit the court to
    24  answer questions of Regional law certified to it by the Supreme Court of
    25  the United States, a Court of Appeals of the United States or an  appel-
    26  late  court  of last resort of another state, which may be determinative
    27  of the cause then pending in the certifying court and which in the opin-
    28  ion of the certifying court are not controlled by precedent in the deci-
    29  sions of the courts of that Region. Each region may by regional law  set
    30  up a regional court of claims, which shall have at least five judges the
    31  actual  number  of  judges  shall  be set by regional law.   The term of
    32  office shall be ten years. The terms shall  be  staggered  so  an  equal
    33  number  of  judges  terms expire on every December 31st of even numbered
    34  years. At least three judges must hear each case. The  judges  shall  be
    35  appointed  by the appropriate regional governor but must be confirmed by
    36  the appropriate regional Senate. The court shall  have  jurisdiction  to
    37  hear  and determine claims against that region or by that region against
    38  the claimant or between conflicting claimants as the  regional  legisla-
    39  ture  may  by  regional  law  provide.  Regional  law  may also give its
    40  regional court of claims the power to hear claims  against  any  county,
    41  district,  or  other  municipality  over a dollar amount set by regional
    42  law.  Jury trials shall not be allowed at a regional  court  of  claims.
    43  Any  appeals may be heard by the applicable Regional Superior Court. The
    44  Chief Justice of the applicable Regional Superior  Court  shall  be  the
    45  Chief  Justice  of  that Region's courts and shall be the chief judicial
    46  officer of that region's unified court. In each Region there shall be an
    47  administrative board of the courts which  shall  consist  of  the  Chief
    48  Justice of the applicable Regional Superior Court as chairperson and the
    49  presiding justice of the appellate division of the supreme court of each
    50  judicial  department  within  that Region. The Chief Justice shall, with
    51  the advice and consent  of  the  administrative  board  of  the  courts,
    52  appoint  a  chief  administrator  of the courts in that Region who shall
    53  serve at the pleasure of that Regional Chief Justice. The Regional chief
    54  administrator, on behalf of  the  Chief  Justice,  shall  supervise  the
    55  administration  and  operation  of the unified Regional court system. In
    56  the exercise of such responsibility, the Regional chief administrator of

        A. 5498                            15
 
     1  the courts shall have such powers and duties as may be delegated to  him
     2  or  her  by  that  Region's Chief Justice and such additional powers and
     3  duties as may be provided by Regional  law.  The  Chief  Justice,  after
     4  consultation  with  that  Region's administrative board, shall establish
     5  standards and administrative policies for general application throughout
     6  that Region, which shall be submitted  by  the  Chief  Justice  of  that
     7  Region's  superior  court, together with the recommendations, if any, of
     8  that Region's administrative board. Such  standards  and  administrative
     9  policies  shall  be promulgated after approval by that Region's superior
    10  court. When a judge is appointed to a Regional Superior Court  an  addi-
    11  tional  new  judge  position  shall  be temporarily created in the trial
    12  court for the length of the appointment and filled by election  to  take
    13  over  the  vacancy  produced by the appointment to the Regional Superior
    14  Court. Each region shall fund its own courts. After January 1, two years
    15  after the regional governors take office for the first time  the  number
    16  of  judges  on  each  Appellate  Division shall be set by the applicable
    17  region's law.
    18    (h) A Fourteenth Judicial District  shall  be  created  consisting  of
    19  Dutchess, Orange, and Putnam counties. This 14th Judicial District shall
    20  be  part of the Third Judicial Department. A fifteenth Judicial District
    21  shall be created consisting of Nassau County. A fifth  Judicial  Depart-
    22  ment  shall  be  created  consisting of the remaining parts of the tenth
    23  Judicial District and the fifteenth Judicial District. A Sixth  Judicial
    24  Department  shall  be  created  consisting of the remaining parts of the
    25  ninth Judicial District.
    26    (i) The Court of Appeals shall, after each  federal  census  is  taken
    27  decennially,  also  draw  U.S.    Congressional  districts  for the next
    28  election, but limit the number of districts crossing regional boundaries
    29  to maximum of three.
    30    (j) (i) There shall be a unified court system for each Region  of  the
    31  state.  The state-wide courts shall consist of the Court of Appeals, and
    32  the court of claims.   The  Region-wide  courts  of  each  Region  shall
    33  consist of each Region's Regional superior court, supreme courts includ-
    34  ing  the  appellate divisions thereof, the county court, the surrogate's
    35  court and the family court, as hereinafter provided. The  unified  court
    36  system  for  each Region shall also include the district, town, city and
    37  village courts, within each Region as hereinafter  provided.    The  New
    38  York  Regional  legislature  shall  establish in and for the city of New
    39  York, as part of the unified court system  for  its  region,  a  single,
    40  city-wide  court  of civil jurisdiction and a single, city-wide court of
    41  criminal jurisdiction, as hereinafter provided, and may upon the request
    42  of the mayor and the local legislative body of the  city  of  New  York,
    43  merge the two courts into one city-wide court of both civil and criminal
    44  jurisdiction.
    45    (ii)  The  Court  of  Appeals,  the  Regional superior courts, supreme
    46  courts including  the  appellate  divisions  thereof,  the  court(s)  of
    47  claims,  the  county court, the surrogate's court, the family court, the
    48  courts or court of civil and criminal jurisdiction of the  city  of  New
    49  York,  and  such other courts as the applicable Regional legislature may
    50  determine shall be courts of record.
    51    (iii) All processes, warrants and  other  mandates  of  the  Court  of
    52  Appeals,  and the court of claims may be served and executed in any part
    53  of the state. All processes, warrants and other mandates of the Regional
    54  superior court, supreme courts including the appellate divisions  there-
    55  of,  the county court, the surrogate's court, the family court and other
    56  Regional courts may be  served  and  executed  only  in  the  applicable

        A. 5498                            16
 
     1  Region.  All  processes,  warrants  and  other mandates of the courts or
     2  court of civil and criminal jurisdiction of the city of  New  York  may,
     3  subject to such limitation as may be prescribed by the New York Regional
     4  legislature,  be served and executed in any part of the New York Region.
     5  The applicable Regional legislature may provide that processes, warrants
     6  and other mandates of the district court may be served and  executed  in
     7  any  part  of the Region and that processes, warrants and other mandates
     8  of town, village and city courts outside the city of  New  York  may  be
     9  served  and  executed in any part of the county in which such courts are
    10  located or in any part of any adjoining county within that Region.
    11    (iv) The court of appeals is  continued.  Effective  on  December  1st
    12  after  the  regional  governors are elected for the first time, it shall
    13  consist of the eleven judges.  Those in office on the effective date  of
    14  this  article  shall continue to hold their offices until the expiration
    15  of their respective terms. The official terms of the  court  of  appeals
    16  chief judge and the associate judges shall be fourteen years.  After the
    17  regional governors are elected for the first time, the chief judge shall
    18  assign  each  associate judge into Classes; the first Class shall be the
    19  current chief judge  and  one  associate  judge  whose  successors  will
    20  continue  to  be  nominated by the state governor. The chief judge shall
    21  also create one class for each region with three (3) judgeships in  each
    22  class; and assign the remaining associate judges and new or vacant seats
    23  equally  among  the  regional classes; so their successors or new judges
    24  can be nominated by the regional governor of the region of  whose  class
    25  they  were  assigned.    The  court  of  appeals shall have the power to
    26  appoint from its members its chief judge who will serve at the  pleasure
    27  of  the  court.  The court of appeals shall have power to appoint and to
    28  remove its clerk. A majority of the court may decide to hear  or  reject
    29  appeals  from a Regional Superior Court. Two-thirds (2/3) members of the
    30  court shall constitute a quorum, and the concurrence of at least  three-
    31  quarters  (3/4)  of full Court of Appeals judges shall be necessary to a
    32  decision on an appeal from a Regional Superior Court; however  when  the
    33  Court  of Appeals has original jurisdiction only a majority vote will be
    34  needed for a decision. When the Court of Appeals cannot reach a decision
    35  the lower court ruling is upheld, except where the judgment is of death,
    36  where the Court of Appeals must reach a decision or a lower court ruling
    37  allowing death is overturned. The powers and jurisdiction of  the  court
    38  shall not be suspended for want of appointment when the number of judges
    39  is sufficient to constitute a quorum.
    40    (v)  The  commission  on judicial nomination members shall be replaced
    41  and shall be chosen as follows: four shall be appointed by each regional
    42  governor, four by the chief judge of the court of appeals,  one  by  the
    43  regional  speaker  of  each regional assembly, one by regional temporary
    44  president of each regional senate, one by regional  minority  leader  of
    45  each  regional  senate,  and  one  by  regional  minority leader of each
    46  regional assembly. Of the four members appointed by each of the regional
    47  governors, no more than two shall be  enrolled  in  the  same  political
    48  party,  two  shall be members of the bar of the state or region, and two
    49  shall not be members of the bar of the state  or  region.  Of  the  four
    50  members  appointed  by  the chief judge of the court of appeals, no more
    51  than two shall be enrolled in the same political  party,  two  shall  be
    52  members  of the bar of the state or region, and two shall not be members
    53  of the bar of the state or region. No member  of  the  commission  shall
    54  hold  or have held any judicial office or hold any elected public office
    55  for which he or she receives compensation during his or  her  period  of
    56  service,  except  that the governor and the chief judge may each appoint

        A. 5498                            17
 
     1  no more than one former judge or justice of the state or regional  court
     2  system  to  such  commission. No member of the commission shall hold any
     3  office in any political party. No  member  of  the  judicial  nominating
     4  commission  shall  be eligible for appointment to judicial office in any
     5  court of the state during the member's period of service or  within  one
     6  year thereafter.
     7    (vi) The members appointed by the state governor, the temporary presi-
     8  dent  of the senate, the speaker of the assembly and the minority leader
     9  of the senate shall be removed from the commission on December 1st after
    10  the regional governors are elected for the first time. The members first
    11  appointed by each regional governor shall have  respectively  one,  two,
    12  three  and  four  year  terms as that regional governor shall designate.
    13  Each subsequent appointment by a regional governor shall be for  a  term
    14  of four years and those appointed by the chief judge shall be for a term
    15  of  four  years.  The  other  members  shall  have  a term of two years.
    16  Appointments to fill a vacancy shall only be for the  remainder  of  the
    17  term.
    18    (vii)  The  commission shall consider the qualifications of candidates
    19  for appointment to the offices of judge and chief judge of the court  of
    20  appeals and, whenever a vacancy in those offices occurs, shall prepare a
    21  written  report  and  recommend  to the appropriate regional governor or
    22  state governor at least seven persons who are well qualified  for  those
    23  judicial offices.
    24    (viii)  The  appropriate  regional  governor  shall  appoint, with the
    25  advice and consent of his/her regional senate, from among list of  those
    26  recommended  by the judicial nominating commission, a person to fill the
    27  office of Court of Appeals judge, whenever a vacancy occurs in  a  court
    28  of appeals in a seat in the class assigned to his/her region. The appro-
    29  priate  regional  governor shall transmit to his/her regional senate the
    30  written report of the commission on judicial nomination relating to  the
    31  nominee;  provided,  however, that no person may be appointed a judge of
    32  the court of appeals by a regional governor  unless  such  person  is  a
    33  resident of that governor's region and has been admitted to the practice
    34  of  law  in  that  region  or  in  this  state. The state governor shall
    35  appoint, with the advice and consent of the  state  senate,  from  among
    36  those  recommended  by  the  judicial nominating commission, a person to
    37  fill the office of of Court of Appeals judge whenever a  vacancy  occurs
    38  in  a  court  of  appeals  in  seat in first class assigned to the state
    39  governor; provided, however, that no person may be appointed a judge  of
    40  the court of appeals by the state governor unless such person is a resi-
    41  dent  of  the state and has been admitted to the practice of law in this
    42  state or a region within this state for at least ten years. The governor
    43  shall transmit to the senate the written report  of  the  commission  on
    44  judicial nomination relating to the nominee.
    45    (ix)  The jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals shall be limited to the
    46  review of questions of law on appeal  from  a  Regional  Superior  Court
    47  except  where  the  judgment is of death. The Court of Appeals will only
    48  hear those appeals where at least two-thirds (2/3) of Court  of  Appeals
    49  judges  vote  to  hear  the case. The Court of Appeals shall continue to
    50  have the final say in interpreting New York State law  and  whether  New
    51  York  State  laws  are  Constitutional  when hearing appeals on New York
    52  State law from the appellate divisions. All appeals from  the  appellate
    53  divisions  on  regional law, local law, regional charter, regional regu-
    54  lation, or local regulation must  first  be  heard  by  the  appropriate
    55  Regional  Superior  Court before being appealed to the Court of Appeals.
    56  The Court of Appeals may only reverse a Regional Superior  Court  ruling

        A. 5498                            18
 
     1  or  a lower court ruling that a Regional Superior Court has let stand if
     2  at least three-quarters (3/4) of Court of Appeals judges vote to reverse
     3  the ruling.  The Court of Appeals shall have  original  jurisdiction  of
     4  actions of one region against another region.
     5    (x)  The  state  shall  be divided into six judicial departments.  The
     6  first department shall consist of the  counties  within  the  first  and
     7  twelfth  judicial  districts  of  the state. The second department shall
     8  consist of the counties within the second,  ninth,  eleventh  and  thir-
     9  teenth  judicial  districts  of  the  state.  The third department shall
    10  consist of the counties within the third, fourth, sixth  and  fourteenth
    11  judicial  districts of the state. The fourth department shall consist of
    12  the counties within the fifth, seventh and eighth judicial districts  of
    13  the state. The fifth department shall consist of the counties within the
    14  tenth  and  fifteenth  judicial districts of the state. A Sixth Judicial
    15  Department shall be created consisting of remaining parts of ninth Judi-
    16  cial District in Rockland  and  Westchester  counties.  Each  department
    17  shall  be  bounded  by  the  lines of judicial districts. Once every ten
    18  years the applicable regional legislature may alter  the  boundaries  of
    19  the  judicial departments in its region, but without changing the number
    20  thereof and no judicial department may be drawn in such a  way  to  have
    21  counties from more than a single Region.
    22    (xi)  Each  of  the justices of the appellate divisions of the supreme
    23  court are continued as justices and shall serve in  the  department  and
    24  region they reside.  Appellate divisions of the supreme court shall have
    25  name  of  its region, and shall consist of at least five justices of the
    26  supreme court but the exact number in each department shall  be  set  by
    27  applicable region's law. In each appellate division, four justices shall
    28  constitute  a quorum, and the concurrence of three shall be necessary to
    29  a decision. No more than five justices shall sit in any case.
    30    (xii) The justices of each appellate division shall be  designated  by
    31  the  appropriate regional governor, from all the justices elected to the
    32  supreme court for terms of five years or the unexpired portions of their
    33  respective terms of office, if less than five years,  and  each  justice
    34  during  his or her term of office shall be a resident of the department.
    35  The justices of  each  appellate  division  shall  elect  the  presiding
    36  justice  of  their  appellate  division,  for  a two year term. Until an
    37  election is held the appropriate regional governor  shall  designate  an
    38  acting presiding justice.
    39    (xiii)  The  state  shall  be divided into judicial districts.  Unless
    40  otherwise stated in this article all judicial districts  shall  continue
    41  to  keep  the same boundaries that existed prior to the adoption of this
    42  article unless modified according to section 6 of  Article  VI.  If  any
    43  judicial  district  exists  in  more than one region it shall be divided
    44  into separate districts along the regional boundary.
    45    (xiv) Once every ten years the  applicable  regional  legislature  may
    46  increase  or  decrease  the  number  of  judicial districts or alter the
    47  composition  of  judicial  districts  and  thereupon  re-apportion   the
    48  justices  to  be thereafter elected in the judicial districts so altered
    49  and/or assign judicial districts to  a  different  judicial  department.
    50  Each  judicial  district  shall  be bounded by county lines. No judicial
    51  district may be drawn in such a way to have counties from  more  than  a
    52  single region or be assigned to judicial department not contained within
    53  its region.
    54    (xv) Each supreme court shall have the name of its region added to the
    55  beginning of its title.

        A. 5498                            19
 
     1    (xvi)  The  provisions of this section shall in no way limit or impair
     2  the jurisdiction of the regional supreme court as set forth  in  section
     3  seven  of  this  article.   All proceedings of the family court shall be
     4  open to the public, however the court may require that  only  the  first
     5  names  of the minors and their parents or their relatives be used in its
     6  proceedings and shall prohibit video and photo(s) of its proceedings.
     7    (xvii) The state legislature may provide for the manner  of  trial  of
     8  actions  and  proceedings involving claims against the state. The appro-
     9  priate regional legislature may provide  by  regional  law  what  claims
    10  against  its  region  or  local governments may be heard by its regional
    11  court of claims and whether a jury trial will be allowed.
    12    (xviii) Each court shall exercise  jurisdiction  over  any  action  or
    13  proceeding  transferred to it pursuant to this section, but no action or
    14  proceeding shall ever be transferred out of its original region.
    15    (xix) There shall be a commission on judicial conduct. The  commission
    16  on  judicial  conduct  shall  receive,  initiate,  investigate  and hear
    17  complaints with respect  to  the  conduct,  qualifications,  fitness  to
    18  perform or performance of official duties of any judge or justice of the
    19  unified  court  system, in the manner provided by law; and may determine
    20  that a judge or justice be admonished, censured or removed  from  office
    21  for cause, including, but not limited to, misconduct in office, persist-
    22  ent  failure  to  perform  his or her duties, habitual intemperance, and
    23  conduct, on or off the  bench,  prejudicial  to  the  administration  of
    24  justice,  or  that  a judge or justice be retired for mental or physical
    25  disability preventing the proper performance  of  his  or  her  judicial
    26  duties.  The  commission  shall transmit such determination to the chief
    27  judge of the court of appeals who shall cause  written  notice  of  such
    28  determination  to  be given to the judge or justice involved. Such judge
    29  or justice may either accept  the  commission's  determination  or  make
    30  written  request  to  the chief judge of the court of appeals if part of
    31  state unified court system or chief justice of the appropriate  Regional
    32  Superior  Court  if part of regional unified court system, within thirty
    33  days after receipt of such notice, for a review of such determination by
    34  the court of appeals or the appropriate  Regional  Superior  Court.  Any
    35  complaint  about  a justice who is a member of a regional Superior Court
    36  shall be referred to the  members  of  the  applicable  regional  senate
    37  committee(s)  for  investigation  and  appropriate action. Any complaint
    38  about a judge who is a member of the Court of Appeals shall be  referred
    39  to  all members of the applicable state senate committee(s) for investi-
    40  gation and appropriate action, as this commission  on  judicial  conduct
    41  shall have no jurisdiction over them. The commission on judicial conduct
    42  members  shall be replaced and shall be chosen as follows: four shall be
    43  appointed by each regional governor,  one  by  each  regional  temporary
    44  president of the regional senates, one by the minority leader of each of
    45  the  regional  senates,  one by each speaker of the regional assemblies,
    46  one by the minority leader of each of the regional assemblies and  three
    47  by  the chief judge of the court of appeals. Of the members appointed by
    48  the regional governors none shall be a member of the bar of the state or
    49  region nor a judge or justice.  Of the members appointed  by  the  chief
    50  judge  all  shall  be members of the bar of the state or region. None of
    51  the persons to be appointed by the legislative leaders shall be justices
    52  or judges or retired justices or judges. The chief  judge  of  court  of
    53  appeals  shall  break any tie votes of the commission within three days.
    54  The persons first appointed by each regional governor shall have respec-
    55  tively one, two, three, and four-year terms as the  applicable  regional
    56  governor  shall designate. The chief judge of the court of appeals shall

        A. 5498                            20
 
     1  designate remaining terms of members of the commission  in  such  a  way
     2  that no more than one quarter of persons appointed shall have their term
     3  expire  in  any  given  year.  Each  member  of  the commission shall be
     4  appointed  thereafter  for  a  term  of four years.   A vacancy shall be
     5  filled by the appointing officer for the remainder of the term.
     6    (xx) Judges of the court of appeals and Judges of the court of  claims
     7  may  be  removed  by  concurrent  resolution of both houses of the state
     8  legislature, if three-fifths of all the members elected  to  each  house
     9  concur therein.
    10    (xxi) Justices of the Regional Superior Court, Justices of the supreme
    11  court,  judges  of  the  regional court of claims, the county court, the
    12  surrogate's court, the family court, the courts for the city of New York
    13  established pursuant to this article, the district court and such  other
    14  courts  as the legislature may determine, may be removed by the applica-
    15  ble regional senate, on the recommendation of  the  applicable  regional
    16  governor,  if  three-fifths  of  all the members elected to the regional
    17  senate concur therein.
    18    (xxii) Temporary assignments of all the foregoing judges  or  justices
    19  listed  in this section, and of judges of the city courts, shall be made
    20  by the appropriate regional chief administrator of the courts in accord-
    21  ance with established regional standards  and  administrative  policies,
    22  but no judge or justice shall be assigned outside his/her region.
    23    (xxiii) (1) The chief judge of the court of appeals shall be the chief
    24  judge  of  the state of New York and shall be the chief judicial officer
    25  of the state unified court system consisting of the  Court  of  Appeals,
    26  the  Court of Claims and the State Commission on Judicial Conduct. There
    27  shall be an administrative board of the courts which  shall  consist  of
    28  the chief judge of the court of appeals as chairperson and two associate
    29  judges  of  the  court of appeals selected by the court. The chief judge
    30  shall, with the advice and consent of the administrative  board  of  the
    31  courts,  appoint  a  chief  administrator  of the state courts who shall
    32  serve at the pleasure of the chief judge.
    33    (2) The chief administrator of the state courts shall keep  an  up  to
    34  date  version  of  the New York State Constitution, New York State laws,
    35  charters, rules and regulations on the court's website; and links to all
    36  regional chief administrators  of  regional  courts'  websites  and  all
    37  regional  secretary  of state websites. Each region's secretary of state
    38  shall keep on a regional department of state website up to date versions
    39  of the New York State Constitution, that region's laws, charters,  rules
    40  and  regulations,  local  charters, laws, ordinances and rules and regu-
    41  lations within that region.
    42    (xxiv) The state legislature shall provide for the allocation  of  the
    43  cost  of  operating  and  maintaining the court of appeals, the court of
    44  claims, the judicial nominating commission, and the State Commission  on
    45  Judicial  Conduct.  Each  region shall fund its own courts; the Regional
    46  Superior Court, the appellate division of  the  supreme  court  in  each
    47  judicial  department,  the supreme courts, the county courts, the surro-
    48  gate's courts, the family courts, the courts for the city  of  New  York
    49  and the district courts.
    50    § 7. Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each Region to the public
    51  acts,  records, licenses, permits, and judicial Proceedings of the other
    52  Regions. The State Legislature may by state laws prescribe the manner in
    53  which such acts, records, and  proceedings  shall  be  proved,  and  the
    54  effect  thereof.  Licenses  and  permits  previously issued by the state
    55  shall remain in effect until their expiration date,  when  they  may  be
    56  renewed with the Region.

        A. 5498                            21
 
     1    §  8.  This  new  article  XX shall supersede any part of the New York
     2  State Constitution it conflicts with. If any part of this  amendment  is
     3  found  to  be  unconstitutional by a court of competent jurisdiction the
     4  remainder shall remain in effect.
     5    §  2. Resolved (if the Senate concur), That article 9 of the constitu-
     6  tion be amended by adding a new section 4 to read as follows:
     7    § 4. Owners of parcels of land that are adjacent to each other or only
     8  separated by a road, highway, railroad, body of water, and/or a  waterc-
     9  ourse  within a single county may separate from any city (cities) and/or
    10  town(s) whose jurisdiction the land is currently under, and  incorporate
    11  a  new  town. First, the owners must draw up a map and prepare a charter
    12  of the proposed town and have one fifth (1/5) of the owners of  land  in
    13  the  proposed  new town sign a petition agreeing to the map and charter.
    14  The proposed town must have at least two thousand (2000) people residing
    15  in it. The charter they draft shall describe how any special district(s)
    16  will be affected and when the charter will  take  effect  and  when  the
    17  special  election  to  fill offices created for the first time under the
    18  charter will be held. Second the map, charter and petition must be filed
    19  with the county board of elections where the proposed  town  will  exist
    20  before  September  1st  of any year. The county board of elections shall
    21  then schedule a vote on the proposed town on the next  election  day  in
    22  November.    Only voters who reside within the proposed town may vote on
    23  creating it. If a majority of those voting approve it the new town  will
    24  be  created  and  will  cease  to be part of the municipality or munici-
    25  palities it separates from thirty days after the  new  town's  officials
    26  take  office.  The  new  town  and the municipality or municipalities it
    27  separates from should negotiate fair prices for water,  sewer  or  other
    28  services  that  must  continue  to  be shared. If an agreement cannot be
    29  reached either may petition the Appellate Division of Supreme  court  to
    30  set  the  prices  for  up  to four years at a time.  Should anyone go to
    31  court to block the creation of the new town and not prevail  they  shall
    32  pay  the reasonable legal fees and court costs of those trying to create
    33  the new town.
    34    § 3. Resolved (if the Senate concur), That article 8 of the  constitu-
    35  tion  be  amended  by  adding  two  new  sections 2-b and 2-c to read as
    36  follows:
    37    § 2-b. In the New Amsterdam region and Montauk Region the fiscal  year
    38  of  any  county,  city, town, village or other district excluding school
    39  and library districts shall be from December 1st to November 30th of the
    40  following year. Whenever a proposed budget  increase  shall  exceed  two
    41  percent  (2%) from the previous year's budget or a proposed property tax
    42  rate increase shall exceed two percent (2%)  from  the  previous  year's
    43  property  tax  rate;  the  proposed  budget  and/or  property  tax  rate
    44  increased shall be submitted to their voters for a yes or  no  vote,  on
    45  Election Day in November. Sixty (60) percent of voters voting on it must
    46  vote yes for it to be approved. If approved the budget shall take effect
    47  at  the  start  of  fiscal  year and property taxes will be collected as
    48  defined by law; however if defeated or no budget/property tax rate  vote
    49  was  held, the budget that county, city, town, village or other district
    50  excluding school districts must have a budget increase of less than  two
    51  percent  (2%)  and  the property tax rate increase must be less than two
    52  percent (2%).  Regional laws may be enacted to enforce this section.
    53    § 2-c. In the New Amsterdam region and Montauk Region the fiscal  year
    54  of  all school and library districts shall be from July 1st to June 30th
    55  of the following year. The school  budget  shall  be  submitted  to  the
    56  voters,  for  a yes or no vote, on a day in May or June that is selected

        A. 5498                            22
 
     1  by law and any primaries held during May or June will occur on the  same
     2  day  at  same  election district polling places with the same poll hours
     3  statewide. If a proposed budget increase shall exceed two  percent  (2%)
     4  from the previous year's budget or a proposed property tax rate increase
     5  shall  exceed  two  percent  (2%)  from the previous year's property tax
     6  rate, sixty (60) percent of voters voting must vote yes  for  it  to  be
     7  approved.  If  the  budget is approved it will take effect as defined by
     8  law. If a school district budget is defeated a contingency  budget  will
     9  be  adopted; the amount of any contingency budget increase shall be less
    10  than two percent (2%), per enrolled student  as  of  July  1st.    If  a
    11  library  district  budget  is  defeated  the district must have a budget
    12  increase of less than  two  percent  (2%)  and  the  property  tax  rate
    13  increase  must  be  less  than  two  percent  (2%). Regional laws may be
    14  enacted to enforce this section.
    15    § 4. Resolved (if the Senate concur), That section 2 of article 19  of
    16  the constitution be amended to read as follows:
    17    §  2.  At the general election to be held in the year nineteen hundred
    18  fifty-seven, and every twentieth year thereafter, and also at such times
    19  as the legislature may by law provide, the question "Shall  there  be  a
    20  convention  to  revise  the  constitution  and amend the same?" shall be
    21  submitted to and decided by the electors of the state;  and  in  case  a
    22  majority  of  the  electors  voting  thereon  shall decide in favor of a
    23  convention for such purpose, the electors of every [senate  district  of
    24  the  state,  as  then  organized,  shall elect three delegates] regional
    25  senate district of the state,  as  then  organized,  shall  elect  three
    26  delegates  and  their  votes  shall  be weighed by the population of the
    27  delegate's  Regional  Senate  District  at  the  next  ensuing   general
    28  election[,  and  the  electors  of the state voting at the same election
    29  shall elect fifteen delegates-at-large]. The delegates so elected  shall
    30  convene  at the capitol on the first Tuesday of April next ensuing after
    31  their election, and shall continue their session until the  business  of
    32  such  convention shall have been completed. Every delegate shall receive
    33  for his or her services the same compensation as shall then be  annually
    34  payable  to  the  members  of  the assembly and be reimbursed for actual
    35  traveling expenses, while the convention is in session,  to  the  extent
    36  that a member of the assembly would then be entitled thereto in the case
    37  of  a  session  of  the  legislature. A majority of the convention shall
    38  constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, and no amendment to
    39  the constitution shall be submitted for  approval  to  the  electors  as
    40  hereinafter  provided,  unless  by  the  assent of a majority of all the
    41  delegates elected to the convention, the ayes and noes being entered  on
    42  the  journal  to be kept. The convention shall have the power to appoint
    43  such officers, employees and assistants as it may  deem  necessary,  and
    44  fix their compensation and to provide for the printing of its documents,
    45  journal,  proceedings and other expenses of said convention. The conven-
    46  tion shall determine the rules of its own proceedings,  choose  its  own
    47  officers,  and  be the judge of the election, returns and qualifications
    48  of its members. In case of a vacancy, by  death,  resignation  or  other
    49  cause,  of any district delegate elected to the convention, such vacancy
    50  shall be filled by a vote of the remaining  delegates  representing  the
    51  district  in  which  such  vacancy occurs. If such vacancy occurs in the
    52  office of a delegate-at-large, such vacancy shall be filled by a vote of
    53  the remaining delegates-at-large. Any proposed constitution or constitu-
    54  tional amendment which shall have been adopted by such convention, shall
    55  be submitted to a vote of the electors of the state at the time  and  in
    56  the  manner  provided  by such convention, at an election which shall be

        A. 5498                            23
 
     1  held not less than six weeks after the adjournment of  such  convention.
     2  Upon  the approval of such constitution or constitutional amendments, in
     3  the manner provided in the last preceding section, such constitution  or
     4  constitutional amendment, shall go into effect on the first day of Janu-
     5  ary next after such approval.
     6    § 5. Resolved (if the Senate concur), That article 11 of the constitu-
     7  tion be REPEALED and a new article 11 be added to read as follows:
     8                                 ARTICLE XI
     9                                  EDUCATION
 
    10    Each  Regional  legislature  shall  provide  for  the  maintenance and
    11  support of a system of free common schools, wherein all the children  of
    12  this  state  may  be educated and shall provide for a Regional education
    13  department. The legislature may provide for the transportation of  chil-
    14  dren to and from any school or institution of learning.
    15    § 6. Resolved (if the Senate concur), That article 19 of the constitu-
    16  tion be amended by adding a new section 4 to read as follows:
    17    §  4.  No  future  amendment or new state constitution can be approved
    18  unless at least 55 percent of the voters voting on it in the New Amster-
    19  dam Region, 55 percent of the voters voting on it in the Montauk  Region
    20  and  at  least  55  percent  of  the voters voting on it in the New York
    21  Region all approve the changes.
    22    § 7. Resolved (if the Senate concur), That section 1 of article  5  of
    23  the  constitution  be  REPEALED  and a new section 1 be added to read as
    24  follows:
    25    Section 1. (a) In elections held after  the  regional  governors  take
    26  office  for  the first time the state comptroller shall be elected for a
    27  term of office of five  years,  and  shall  possess  the  qualifications
    28  provided  in  section 2 of article IV. The legislature shall provide for
    29  filling vacancies in the office of comptroller. The comptroller shall be
    30  required: (i) to audit all vouchers  before  payment  and  all  official
    31  accounts;  (ii)  to audit the accrual and collection of all revenues and
    32  receipts; and (iii) to prescribe  such  methods  of  accounting  as  are
    33  necessary  for  the performance of the foregoing duties.  The payment of
    34  any moneys of the state, or of any moneys  under  its  control,  or  the
    35  refund  of  any moneys paid to the state, except upon audit by the comp-
    36  troller, shall be void, and may be  restrained  upon  the  suit  of  any
    37  taxpayer with the consent of the supreme court in the appellate division
    38  on notice to the appropriate regional attorney-general.
    39    (b)  In  such  respect the appropriate regional legislature only shall
    40  define the powers and duties and may also assign  to  him  or  her:  (i)
    41  supervision  of  the  accounts  of  any  political  subdivision of their
    42  region; and (ii) powers and duties pertaining to or connected  with  the
    43  assessment  and  taxation  of  real  estate,  including determination of
    44  ratios which the assessed valuation of taxable real  property  bears  to
    45  the  full  valuation  thereof, but not including any of those powers and
    46  duties reserved to officers of a county, city, town or village by virtue
    47  of sections seven and eight of article nine of  this  constitution.  The
    48  appropriate  regional legislature shall assign to him or her no adminis-
    49  trative duties, excepting such as may be incidental to  the  performance
    50  of  these  functions,  any  other  provision of this constitution to the
    51  contrary notwithstanding. The office of comptroller shall also calculate
    52  annually the median annual income of individuals in the state.
    53    § 8. Resolved (if the Senate concur), That section 6 of article  3  of
    54  the constitution be REPEALED.

        A. 5498                            24
 
     1    §  9. Resolved (if the Senate concur), That the foregoing amendment be
     2  referred to the first regular legislative session  convening  after  the
     3  next  succeeding  general  election  of members of the assembly, and, in
     4  conformity with  section  1  of  article  19  of  the  constitution,  be
     5  published for 3 months previous to the time of such election.
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