New York 2013 ballot measures
New York's state legislative session began January 9, 2013, and went into recess on June 22, 2013, ending the period in which the legislature could place measures on the ballot. All six measures were legislatively-referred constitutional amendments, and in an unusual turn of events, four were passed unanimously by both chambers of the state legislature.
Proposal 1 was by far the widest-covered by media and most discussed ballot measure of 2013 in New York. The measure drew criticism to the state's methods of writing ballot measure language, how the measures are ordered on the ballot and the process' transparency. First, the measure's language and precedent rewriting had been deemed controversial by opponents and some supporters, but no individual or government agency came forward as the rewriter of the measure's language. Second, ballot measures have "customarily" been placed on the ballot in order of approval by the state legislature, but in 2013 they were not. Third, when the measure's rewording was approved, the public was not made aware of this until after the date in which a lawsuit against the measure could commence.
The following table compares the order and date of passage of the measures by the legislature to the order of the measures on the ballot:
|Order of Passage||Order on Ballot|
|Proposal 2 (March 18)||Proposal 1|
|Proposal 3 (June 13)||Proposal 2|
|Proposal 4 (June 19)||Proposal 3|
|Proposal 5 (June 19)||Proposal 4|
|Proposal 1 (June 21)||Proposal 5|
- Since 1996, an average of 2 measures have appeared on the ballot in New York. Therefore, 2013 was an above average year.
- 2013 has the most measures out of any year since 1996. In 1997, there were four measures on the ballot.
- Since 1996, 8 of 15 or 53.3% of New York ballot measures have been approved by voters.
- Conversely, 7 of 15 or 46.7% of statewide bond questions have been defeated since 1996.
On the ballot
|Proposal 1||Gambling||Allows casino gambling statewide||
|Proposal 2||Veterans||Gives veterans with combat-related disabilities extra points when competing for civil service promotions||
|Proposal 3||Budgets||Allows municipalities to continue exceeding their debt limits for sewage facilities||
|Proposal 4||Forests and parks||Attempts to solve a dispute with private landowners over property in the Adirondack forest preserve||
|Proposal 5||Forests and parks||Allows a land exchange involving the Adirondack forest preserve with NYCO Minerals||
|Proposal 6||State judiciary||Raises the mandatory judicial retirement age in the state to 80||
Summary of campaign spending
Below is a table that summarizes the campaign contributions to both the campaigns for and against New York’s 2013 ballot measures:
|Measure||Donations in favor||Donations against|
Not on ballot
In New York, a majority vote is required in two successive sessions of the New York State Legislature in order to qualify an amendment for the statewide ballot. The following measures were not on the ballot because they were only passed by one chamber or during one session.
|State Spending Amendment||State budgets||Imposes a state spending cap of 2 percent a year|
|Supermajority Vote Tax Requirement||Taxes||Requires a two-thirds vote of the legislature to approve new taxes|
|Initiative and Referendum Amendment||Direct democracy measures||Allows for voters to enact and amend laws through initiative and referendum|
- 2013 ballot measures
- New York History of I & R
- Amending the New York Constitution
- List of New York ballot measures