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 24 Local laws subject to referendum on petition

Municipal Home Rule (MHR)

1. a. A local law adopted by a county, city or town and subject to referendum on petition as provided in this section or in any other state statute, if not also subject to mandatory referendum, shall not take effect until at least forty-five days after its adoption; nor until approved by the affirmative vote of a majority of the qualified electors of the local government voting on a proposition for its approval if within forty-five days after its adoption there be filed with the clerk a petition protesting against such local law, signed and authenticated as herein required by qualified electors of such local government, registered to vote therein at the last preceding general election, in number equal to at least ten per centum of the total number of votes cast for governor at the last gubernatorial election in such local government. If such petition be so filed, a proposition for the approval of such local law shall be submitted at the next general election of state or local government officers held in such local government not less than sixty days after the filing of such petition, unless the petition request and the legislative body adopt a local law submitting such proposition at a special election held not less than sixty days after the adoption of the local law providing for such special election. The petition may be made upon separate sheets, and the signatures to each sheet shall be signed and authenticated in the manner provided by the election law for the signing and authentication of nominating petitions so far as applicable. The several sheets so signed and authenticated, when fastened together and offered for filing, shall be deemed to constitute one petition. The clerk shall examine each such petition so filed with him and not later than thirty days after the date of its filing, or forty-five days before the day of the election at which such referendum would appear on the ballot, whichever is earlier, shall transmit to the legislative body a certificate that he has examined it and has found that it complies or does not comply, as the case may be, with all the requirements of law. If within five days after the last day to file such certificate a written objection to the determination of the clerk be filed with the supreme court, or any justice thereof, of a judicial district in which such local government or any part thereof is located, such court or justice shall determine any question arising thereunder and make such order as justice may require. Such proceeding shall be heard and determined in the manner prescribed by section 16-116 of the election law.

  b. A local law adopted by a village and subject to a referendum on petition as provided in this section or in any other state statute, if not also subject to a mandatory referendum shall be conducted as a permissive referendum as provided in article nine of the village law and compliance with that article shall be deemed to be compliance with this chapter for all purposes.

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

  a. Dispenses with a provision of law requiring a public notice or hearing as a condition precedent to official action.

  b. Changes a provision of law relating to public bidding, purchases or contracts.

  c. Changes a provision of law relating to assessments of real property or benefit assessments for local improvements.

  d. Changes a provision of law relating to the exercise of the power of condemnation.

  e. Changes a provision of law relating to the authorization or issuance of bonds or other obligations, except as provided in section 34.00 of the local finance law in the case of a city.

  f. Changes a provision of law relating to the auditing of the accounts of the local government.

  g. Changes a provision of law relating to the alienation or leasing of real property of the local government.

  h. In the case of a city, town or village increases the salary of an elective officer during his term of office or, in the case of a county, increases the salary of an elective officer or of an officer appointed for a fixed term, during his term of office, except where any such increase by a county is made in accordance with a schedule providing higher rates of compensation through additional increments of salary based on time service, which schedule or applicable amendment thereof was in existence prior to the commencement of such term of office.

  i. In the case of a county, establishes a county general hospital pursuant to the provisions of the general municipal law.

  j. Is a local law relating to apportionment adopted pursuant to subparagraph thirteen of paragraph a of subdivision one of section ten of this chapter. Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision one of this section:

  (1) A petition signed and authenticated in number equal to at least five per centum of qualified voters as provided in subdivision one of this section, or to fifteen thousand, whichever is less, shall be sufficient to require the submission of a proposition or propositions for the approval of such a local law or the principle elements designated therein for separate submission, at a referendum in accordance with such subdivision.

  (2) The legislative body of the local government on its own motion may adopt a resolution requiring that a proposition or propositions for the approval of such a local law and the principle elements therein as shall have been designated for separate submission, be submitted at a referendum, in accordance with such subdivision, at the next general election, or at a special election, held not less than sixty days after the adoption of such resolution.

  k. In the case of a village, creates or abolishes the office of manager.