1. The Laws of New York
  2. Consolidated Laws
  3. Municipal Home Rule
  4. Article 3: Procedure for Adoption of Local Laws; Referenda; Filing and Publication


Section 23 Local laws subject to mandatory referendum

Municipal Home Rule (MHR)

1. A local law subject to mandatory referendum as provided in this section or in any other state statute, shall be submitted for the approval of the electors at a general election of state or local government officers in such local government held not less than sixty days after the adoption thereof unless such local law provides for its submission for approval of the electors at a special election or unless, within thirty days after the adoption of such local law, a petition signed, authenticated and subject to certification by the clerk as provided for other petitions in section twenty-four of this chapter is filed with such clerk requesting its submission at a special election. If the local law so provides or if a valid petition is so filed requesting the submission of the local law at a special election, it shall be submitted at such a special election held in such local government not less than sixty days after the adoption of the local law, the date for which special election shall be fixed by the legislative body. In either case such local law shall become operative as prescribed therein only if approved at such election by the affirmative vote of a majority of the qualified electors of such local government voting upon the proposition.

  2. Except as otherwise provided by or under authority of a state statute, a local law shall be subject to mandatory referendum if it:

  a. In the case of a city, provides a new charter for such city.

  b. In the case of a city, town or village, changes the membership or composition of the legislative body or increases or decreases the number of votes which any member is entitled to cast.

  c. Changes the veto power of the elective chief executive officer.

  d. Changes the law of succession to the office of the chief executive officer of a county elected on a county-wide basis or if there be none the chairman of the board of supervisors, the mayor of a city or village or the supervisor of a town.

  e. Abolishes an elective office, or changes the method of nominating, electing or removing an elective officer, or changes the term of an elective office, or reduces the salary of an elective officer during his term of office.

  f. Abolishes, transfers or curtails any power of an elective officer.

  g. Creates a new elective office.

  h. In the case of a city, changes the boundaries of wards, or other districts, from which members of the county board of supervisors, chosen as such in such city to represent the city, are elected.

  i. Changes a provision of law relating to public utility franchises.

  j. In the case of a city, reduces the salary or compensation of a city officer or employee, increases his hours of employment or changes his working conditions if such salary, compensation, hours or conditions have been fixed by a state statute and approved by the vote of the qualified electors of the city. No provision effecting such reductions, increases or changes contained in any local law or proposed new charter shall become effective unless the definite question with respect to such reductions, increases or changes shall be submitted separately from any provisions not relating to such reductions, increases or changes and approved by the affirmative vote of a majority of the qualified electors voting thereon.

  k. In the case of a city, changes a provision of law relating to the membership or terms of office of the civil service commission of the city.