New York moves one step closer to implementing the initiative and referendum process

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June 8, 2011

New York

By Bailey Ludlam

ALBANY, New York: New York may become state number twenty-seven to implement some form of the initiative and referendum process. Earlier this week, the New York State Senate voted 47-15 in favor of referring a proposed initiative and referendum amendment to the ballot.[1]

The proposed question would ask voters if they should be allowed to enact and amend laws through initiative and referendum. According to reports, the amendment would require that proposed initiative sponsors collect signatures from at least five percent of the total voters statewide in the last gubernatorial election. Additionally, the signatures would have to include at least 5,000 signatures from at least three-fifths of the state’s congressional districts.

The measure is sponsored and supported by Senator Joseph Robach.

"This proposal to establish a process of initiative and referendum in New York State is simply good government. It is the type of reform that my Senate colleagues and I have consistently fought for and will continue to support so that voters statewide can be given a more direct and effective voice with which to further New York’s democratic process," said Robach.[2]

According to the New York Constitution a majority vote is required in two successive sessions of the New York State Legislature in order to qualify a measure for the statewide ballot.

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