State Voters Overwhelmingly Reject Constitutional Convention

 ALBANY – There will not be a state Constitutional Convention in New York for at least the next 20 years.

Voters across the state sent a resounding “No” to Albany. Proposition One to approve a convention was defeated 82 percent to 18 percent. Opponents of the measure said it would costs as much as 300 million dollars and could lead to stricter gun laws and more corruption at the state level, with one group calling the measure a “con game.”

Supporters said it was the only chance for reform and an opportunity to crush corruption. Supporters also said the convention would allow for pension protections, equal rights for women and other needed reforms.

In a step toward hammering corruption, voters solidly approved a measure to allow judges to strip pensions from elected officials and their top appointees who are convicted of a felony related to their positions. The measure won with 71 percent of the vote to 29 percent against. The measure was considered a step to punish those who abuse their positions by supporters. Some opponents of the measure said it was too much punishment in addition to jail time or probation and censure.

A third measure is said to be to close to call. The proposal would create a forest land bank to streamline Adirondacks and Catskills infrastructure projects.

The state Constitution has a “Forever Wild” clause protecting Adirondack and Catskill forest preserves, preventing land sales and tree felling.

If approved, that would change, allowing Adirondack and Catskill communities to carry out projects to improve the public health and safety with state-level approval.

The state would have to purchase 250 acres of forest land for a land bank to offset any land lost in the infrastructure projects.