senate Bill S32

Relates to the procedure to fill vacancies for representatives in Congress

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 05 / Jan / 2011
    • REFERRED TO ELECTIONS
  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • REFERRED TO ELECTIONS

Summary

Relates to the procedure to fill vacancies for representatives in Congress; provides for a special popular election; sets procedures for independent nominating petitions.

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Bill Details

Versions:
S32
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Current Committee:
Senate Elections
Law Section:
Election Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §12-300, El L; amd §42, Pub Off L
Versions Introduced in 2009-2010 Legislative Cycle:
S5290

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S32

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the election law and the public officers law, in relation to the
procedure to fill vacancies for representatives in Congress

PURPOSE:
Requires vacancies for representatives in Congress to be
filled by non-partisan special elections

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 of the bill amends section 12-300 of
the election law to include a new subdivision 2. This subdivision
directs the governor to proclaim a special non-partisan election
within three days of the occurrence of a vacancy in the office of
representative in congress and calls for this election to be held
forty-five days from the governor's proclamation. It also sets forth
the nominating petition process, specifies that such petitions should
be filed within fifteen days of the governor's proclamation and calls
on the person elected to take office immediately and serve for the
remainder of the unexpired term.

Section 2 amends subdivision 4 of section 42 of the public officers
law to remove the office of representative in congress from the
provisions of this subdivision.

Section 3 specifies the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION:
The current selection procedure for filling vacancies
in congressional seats restricts the participation of voters in the
electoral process, thereby undermining democracy. presently, in the
event that there is a vacancy in a congressional seat, the process of
selecting a new representative does not permit real voter
participation in a contested election. Rather, a committee filled
with political insiders conducts a closed nomination meeting to
determine what candidate obtains the party line, effectively
guaranteeing election in many districts throughout New York State.

A fundamental tenet of our democracy is the accountability of elected
officials to the public, best achieved through competitive elections.
Reform of the process by which congressional seats are filled,
through implementation of a non-partisan special election system will
improve public accountability.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2010: S.5290 (Squadron) - Elections, A.9868 (Kavanagh) - Election Law
2009: S.5290 (Squadron) - Elections

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect immediately.


view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                   32

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 5, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sen. SQUADRON -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Elections

AN ACT to amend the  election  law  and  the  public  officers  law,  in
  relation  to  the  procedure  to fill vacancies for representatives in
  Congress

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1.  Section 12-300 of the election law, as amended by chapter
234 of the laws of 1976, is amended to read as follows:
  S 12-300. Representatives in congress;  election  of.    1.  Represen-
tatives  in  the  house of representatives of the congress of the United
States shall be chosen in the several  congressional  districts  at  the
general  election  held in every even-numbered year. Elections to fill a
vacancy for an unexpired term shall be held as provided in  [the  public
officers law] SUBDIVISION TWO OF THIS SECTION.
  2.  A  VACANCY  IN  THE  OFFICE OF REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS SHALL BE
FILLED BY POPULAR ELECTION IN THE FOLLOWING MANNER:
  (A) WITHIN THREE DAYS OF THE OCCURRENCE OF  A  VACANCY,  THE  GOVERNOR
SHALL  MAKE PROCLAMATION OF A SPECIAL NON-PARTISAN ELECTION TO FILL SUCH
OFFICE, SPECIFYING THE DISTRICT IN WHICH THE ELECTION IS TO BE HELD, AND
THE DAY THEREOF, WHICH SHALL BE FORTY-FIVE DAYS FROM  THE  DATE  OF  THE
PROCLAMATION.
  (B)  ALL  NOMINATIONS FOR ELECTIONS TO FILL VACANCIES HELD PURSUANT TO
THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL  BE  BY  INDEPENDENT  NOMINATING  PETITION,  SUCH
PETITIONS TO BE SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF ARTICLE SIX OF THIS CHAPTER
PERTAINING  TO  INDEPENDENT NOMINATIONS EXCEPT AS IS OTHERWISE SET FORTH
IN THIS SUBDIVISION. THE SHEETS OF THE INDEPENDENT  NOMINATING  PETITION
SHALL  SET  FORTH  IN  EVERY INSTANCE THE NAME OF THE SIGNER, HIS OR HER
RESIDENCE ADDRESS, TOWN OR CITY (EXCEPT IN THE CITY  OF  NEW  YORK,  THE
COUNTY),  AND  THE  DATE  THE SIGNATURE IS FIXED. SUCH PETITION SHALL BE

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD00021-01-1

S. 32                               2

REQUIRED TO CONTAIN A DESIGNATED NUMBER OF SIGNATURES WHICH SHALL BE THE
LESSER OF FIVE PERCENT OF VOTES CAST IN THE LAST PRECEDING GUBERNATORIAL
ELECTION. A SIGNATURE ON AN INDEPENDENT NOMINATING PETITION MADE EARLIER
THAN  THE  DATE  OF  THE  PROCLAMATION REQUIRED BY PARAGRAPH (A) OF THIS
SUBDIVISION SHALL NOT BE COUNTED.
  (C) ALL NOMINATING PETITIONS FILED PURSUANT TO THIS SUBDIVISION  SHALL
BE  FILED  IN  ACCORDANCE  WITH  THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 6-144 OF THIS
CHAPTER WITHIN FIFTEEN DAYS AFTER THE DATE OF THE  GOVERNOR'S  PROCLAMA-
TION AS DESCRIBED IN PARAGRAPH (A) OF THIS SUBDIVISION.
  (D) A PERSON ELECTED TO FILL A VACANCY AT AN ELECTION HELD PURSUANT TO
THIS  SUBDIVISION  SHALL  TAKE OFFICE IMMEDIATELY UPON QUALIFICATION AND
SERVE FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE UNEXPIRED TERM.
  S 2. Subdivision 4 of section  42  of  the  public  officers  law,  as
amended  by  chapter  317  of  the  laws  of 1954, is amended to read as
follows:
  4. A special election shall not be held  to  fill  a  vacancy  in  the
office of [a representative in congress unless such vacancy occurs on or
before  the first day of July of the last year of the term of office, or
unless it occurs thereafter and a special session of congress is  called
to  meet  before the next general election, or be called after September
nineteenth of such year; nor to fill a vacancy in the office  of]  state
senator  or  in  the  office  of  member of assembly, unless the vacancy
occurs before the first day of April of the last year  of  the  term  of
office, or unless the vacancy occurs in either such office of senator or
member  of  assembly after such first day of April and a special session
of the legislature be called to meet between such first day of April and
the next general election or be called  after  September  nineteenth  in
such  year. If a special election to fill an office shall not be held as
required by law,  the  office  shall  be  filled  at  the  next  general
election.
  S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.

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