ALBANY — Gov. Cuomo plans to vote “no” on the question of whether to hold a constitutional convention, his office announced Monday.
“The governor is voting no on a constitutional convention because the current delegate system does not offer enough protections to prevent the status quo and special interests from governing,” said Cuomo spokeswoman Abbey Fashouer.
Cuomo had previously said he supported the concept of a convention — but had also expressed concerns that any convention would be controlled by the same influences that currently rule in Albany.
“It’s a way to get reform, but you have to elect delegates who are not currently elected officials,” Cuomo said over the summer.
New York voters to decide on state constitutional convention
State law requires the question of a constitutional convention be put to voters at least once every 20 years. If voters vote yes Tuesday, an election would be held next year to select delegates and a convention convened in 2019.
A collection of advocacy groups, including the League of Women Voters and the New York State Bar Association, believe that a convention offers the best chance to enact reforms that have long-stalled in the Legislature, including tighter campaign finance limits and stricter government ethics laws.
Opposing the convention is a broad array of powerful interest groups — including most of state’s unions and environmental advocates — who argue that it would give business interests and other well-financed groups an avenue to weaken existing labor and environmental protections.
The convention question is one of three statewide ballot initiatives on the backs ballots Tuesday.
One proposition will amend the state constitution to allow politicians convicted of corruption charges to be stripped of their pensions. Another will ease the forever wild restrictions in Adirondacks and Catskills forests by creating a land bank, which supporters argue would make it easier for municipalities in the region to make much-needed road repairs and other infrastructure improvements.
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