senate Bill S2861

2011-2012 Legislative Session

Provides that the senate shall be composed of 62 senators, each representing 1 county of the state

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


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

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Actions

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 09, 2012 to attorney-general for opinion
Jan 04, 2012 referred to judiciary
Apr 27, 2011 opinion referred to judiciary
Feb 07, 2011 to attorney-general for opinion
Feb 02, 2011 referred to judiciary

Co-Sponsors

S2861 - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Senate Judiciary
Law Section:
Constitution, Concurrent Resolutions to Amend
Laws Affected:
Amd Art 3 ยงยง2 & 4, Constn
Versions Introduced in 2009-2010 Legislative Session:
A9494, S7631

S2861 - Bill Texts

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Provides that the senate shall be composed of 62 senators, each representing 1 county of the state.

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BILL NUMBER:S2861

TITLE OF BILL:
CONCURRENT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY
proposing amendments to sections 2 and 4 of article 3 of the
constitution, in relation to the number of senators and the
apportionment of senate districts

PURPOSE:
To change the method of apportioning State Senators.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 amends Sections 2 and 4 of Article III of the State
Constitution to award each county of the state a single Senator to
represent it in the state legislature.

Section 2 contains the effective date

JUSTIFICATION:
The "One man-one vote" 1964 Supreme Court decision of Lucas v.
Colorado General Assembly invalidated the long established
constitutional method of apportioning representatives to the New York
state legislature. In many ways the pre Lucas methodology for
apportioning representatives mirrored that prescribed in the Federal
Constitution as a means to balance the interests of small densely
populated regions in comparison to sparsely populated but
geographically large rural regions. The bicameral legislature
established by the united States Constitution was an ingenious means
to assure fair representation for residents of both highly populous
states (the House of Representative) and states with small
populations (the Senate.) In short, Lucas v. Colorado General
Assembly was arguably decided wrongly, in that it denied to the
states the ability to enact this very same compromise and same
protections for their smaller counties and more sparsely inhabited
regions.
Perhaps no state was more drastically affected than New York.

Because New York City and its immediate surrounding contain such a
disproportionate amount of our state's population, the unintended
consequence of Lucas has been to effectively disempower virtually any
state resident outside of the immediate vicinity of New York City.
While the
motivation behind the Lucas decision was in may ways laudable, the
decision itself ran counter to the
example set by our own federal constitution as it
established our National legislative bodies.

As the representatives of New York City quite naturally focus on the
needs of their own constituents many Issues critical to the
prosperity of Upstate New York have been routinely ignored over the
past few years. As Upstate New Yorkers have watched jobs,

opportunities, and inhabitants leave their region due to excessive
taxation and general neglect they watched in 2009 as the state
legislature battled for days to prevent minimal subway fare increases
in New York city while letting the state finances approach the point
of near collapse. A more equitable distribution of representatives
might well lead to better and less parochial government for all New
Yorkers.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2009-2010: S.7631/A.9494

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
Resolved (if the Assembly concur), That the foregoing amendment be
referred to the first regular legislative session convening after the
next succeeding general election of members of the assembly, and in
conformity with section 1 of article 19 of the constitution, be
published for 3 months previous to the time of such election.

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

                                  2861

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            February 2, 2011
                               ___________

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

            CONCURRENT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY

proposing amendments to sections 2 and 4 of article 3 of  the  constitu-
  tion,  in  relation to the number of senators and the apportionment of
  senate districts

  Section 1. Resolved (if the Assembly concur), That sections 2 and 4 of
article 3 of the constitution be amended to read as follows:
  S 2. The senate shall consist of [fifty] SIXTY-TWO members[, except as
hereinafter provided]. The senators [elected in the  year  one  thousand
eight  hundred and ninety-five shall hold their offices for three years,
and their successors] shall be  [chosen]  ELECTED  for  two  years.  The
assembly  shall  consist  of one hundred and fifty members. The assembly
members [elected in the year one thousand nine hundred and thirty-eight,
and their successors,] shall be [chosen] ELECTED for two years.
  S 4. Except as herein otherwise provided, the federal census taken  in
the  year nineteen hundred thirty and each federal census taken decenni-
ally thereafter shall be controlling as to the number of inhabitants  in
the  state  or any part thereof for the purposes of the apportionment of
members of assembly and  readjustment  or  alteration  of  [senate  and]
assembly  districts  next  occurring,  in  so far as such census and the
tabulation thereof purport to give the information  necessary  therefor.
The  legislature, by law, shall provide for the making and tabulation by
state authorities of an enumeration of the  inhabitants  of  the  entire
state  to be used for such purposes, instead of a federal census, if the
taking of a federal census in any tenth  year  from  the  year  nineteen
hundred  thirty  be  omitted  or if the federal census fails to show the
number of aliens or Indians not  taxed.  If  a  federal  census,  though
giving the requisite information as to the state at large, fails to give
the  information  as  to  any  civil  or  territorial divisions which is
required to be known for such purposes, the legislature, by  law,  shall
provide  for such an enumeration of the inhabitants of such parts of the

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD89039-01-1

S. 2861                             2

state only as may be necessary, which shall supersede in part the feder-
al census and be used in connection therewith for such  purposes.    The
legislature, by law, may provide in its discretion for an enumeration by
state  authorities  of the inhabitants of the state, to be used for such
purposes, in place of a federal census, when the return of  a  decennial
federal  census  is delayed so that it is not available at the beginning
of the regular session of the legislature in the second year  after  the
year nineteen hundred thirty or after any tenth year therefrom, or if an
apportionment  of members of assembly [and readjustment or alteration of
senate districts] is not made at or before such a session. [At the regu-
lar session in the year nineteen hundred thirty-two, and  at  the  first
regular  session  after  the  year nineteen hundred forty and after each
tenth year  therefrom  the  senate  districts  shall  be  readjusted  or
altered,  but  if, in any decade, counting from and including that which
begins with the year nineteen hundred thirty-one, such a readjustment or
alteration is not made at the time above prescribed, it shall be made at
a subsequent session occurring not later than the  sixth  year  of  such
decade,  meaning  not  later  than nineteen hundred thirty-six, nineteen
hundred forty-six, nineteen hundred  fifty-six,  and  so  on;  provided,
however, that if such districts shall have been readjusted or altered by
law  in  either of the years nineteen hundred thirty or nineteen hundred
thirty-one, they shall remain unaltered until the first regular  session
after  the year nineteen hundred forty. Such districts shall be so read-
justed or altered that each senate district shall contain as  nearly  as
may  be  an  equal number of inhabitants, excluding aliens, and be in as
compact form as practicable, and shall remain unaltered until the  first
year of the next decade as above defined, and shall at all times consist
of contiguous territory, and no county shall be divided in the formation
of  a senate district except to make two or more senate districts wholly
in such county. No town, except a town having more than a full ratio  of
apportionment,  and  no  block  in  a city inclosed by streets or public
ways, shall be divided in the formation of senate districts;  nor  shall
any  district  contain  a greater excess in population over an adjoining
district in the same county, than the population  of  a  town  or  block
therein  adjoining  such district. Counties, towns or blocks which, from
their location, may be included in either of two districts, shall be  so
placed as to make said districts most nearly equal in number of inhabit-
ants, excluding aliens.
  No county shall have four or more senators unless it shall have a full
ratio  for each senator. No county shall have more than one-third of all
the senators; and no two counties or the territory thereof as now organ-
ized, which are adjoining counties,  or  which  are  separated  only  by
public waters, shall have more than one-half of all the senators.
  The ratio for apportioning senators shall always be obtained by divid-
ing  the  number  of  inhabitants,  excluding  aliens, by fifty, and the
senate shall always be composed of fifty members,  except  that  if  any
county  having  three  or more senators at the time of any apportionment
shall be entitled on such ratio to an additional  senator  or  senators,
such  additional  senator  or  senators shall be given to such county in
addition to the fifty senators, and the whole number of  senators  shall
be increased to that extent.
  The  senate  districts,  including the present ones, as existing imme-
diately before the enactment of a law readjusting or altering the senate
districts, shall continue to be the senate districts of the state  until
the  expirations of the terms of the senators then in office, except for
the purpose of an election of senators for full terms beginning at  such

S. 2861                             3

expirations,  and  for  the formation of assembly districts] EACH COUNTY
HERETOFORE ESTABLISHED AND SEPARATELY ORGANIZED SHALL BE REPRESENTED  BY
A  SINGLE  MEMBER  OF  THE  SENATE,  AND  EVERY SENATE DISTRICT SHALL BE
CONTIGUOUS WITH THE BOUNDARIES OF A COUNTY OF THE STATE.
  S 2. Resolved (if the Assembly concur), That the foregoing be referred
to  the  first  regular  legislative  session  convening  after the next
succeeding general election of members of the assembly, and, in conform-
ity with section 1 of article 19 of the constitution, be published for 3
months previous to the time of such election.

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