A constitutional convention? There's a better way!
Holding a state constitutional convention is a wasteful option that could cost millions of dollars and would be controlled by Albany politicians and insiders. It's a safe bet that nothing good for average New Yorkers would come out of it. Here's why:
On Nov. 7, voters are asked whether the state should hold a convention to revise and amend — even fully rewrite — the state constitution. The question — Proposition 1 — will appear on the back of the ballot.
A convention could have a huge impact on your right to join a union, your retirement security, health care and your children's access to quality public education. Even the vast preserves of the Adirondacks would be exposed to political whims. Every right we enjoy is at risk.
If Proposition 1 were approved, voters in November 2018 would elect 204 convention "delegates." Make no mistake: The candidates would be political insiders, lobbyists and lawmakers — not average citizens.
Taxpayers would foot the bill for a convention. Each delegate would be paid the equivalent of an Assembly member's salary — $79,500 — plus travel, plus expenses. The convention party for "delegates" could last days, months and more — there is no time limit.
Any changes proposed by delegates would go before voters in the months after the convention ends. The last time that happened — in 1967 — voters rejected all the proposals — a huge waste of taxpayer money.
The way gives political insiders excessive and wholesale authority to alter the purpose and priorities of the state government — potentially to:
- strip our rights to join a union and bargain collectively;
- imperil public education;
- take away our pensions;
- weaken protections, such as unemployment insurance and health and safety regulations;
- weaken protections for state lands;
- allow fracking;
- give tax breaks to Wall Street and the wealthy.
Voters then approved the referendum.
Now the independent commission — not sitting legislators — will prescribe changes to election districts based on the 2020 U.S. Census. The new district lines will be in place for the 2022 elections.
The constitution was amended — and improved — and it didn't cost taxpayers a thing.
"Do not let politically connected delegates, backed by anti-union billionaires, rewrite the document that guarantees your most basic rights. Vote NO and urge your friends and family to do the same." — NYSUT President Andy Pallotta.
The — and BETTER way — is a proven process for concrete, specific ideas to move forward, ideas that will improve state government without exposing New York State citizens to the whims of special interests and political hacks, and without the huge price.
Protect your rights and security. VOTE NO on Proposition 1 to defeat the referendum on the constitutional convention!