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This entry was published on 2014-09-22
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SECTION 37
Provisions for adoption of city charter amendments or new city charters initiated by petition
Municipal Home Rule (MHR) CHAPTER 36-A, ARTICLE 4, PART 2
§ 37. Provisions for adoption of city charter amendments or new city
charters initiated by petition. 1. A local law amending a city charter
(however extensively) or providing a new city charter, also may be
adopted in accordance with the provisions of this section.

2. Qualified electors of a city, in number equal to at least ten per
centum of the total number of valid votes cast for governor in such city
at the last gubernatorial election, or to thirty thousand, whichever is
less, may file in the office of the city clerk a petition for the
submission to the electors of the city of such a proposed local law to
be set forth in full in the petition. Qualified electors shall be deemed
for this purpose to be voters of the city who were registered and
qualified to vote in such city at the last general election preceding
the filing of the petition.

3. Such local law shall set forth the new matter to be added to the
charter either in italics or underlined and the matter to be deleted
therefrom either in brackets or with lines drawn through it, and after
adoption the matter so set forth in italics or underlined may be set
forth in the charter in ordinary type, and the matter in brackets or
with lines through it may be omitted; but failure so to set forth any
provision of the charter which is in fact superseded shall not
invalidate the amendment or new charter or any portion thereof.

4. Such a local law may amend, repeal or supersede any local law
inconsistent with the charter amendment or new charter proposed thereby
or any inconsistent provision of a state statute which may be amended by
local law, in which event it shall specify the chapter number and year
of enactment, sections, subsections or other parts of each statute or
local law so affected. Such a local law also may contain provisions as
described in paragraph (a) of subdivision four of section thirty-six of
this chapter.

5. Such petition shall conform to the provisions of section
twenty-four of this chapter in relation to petitions. It shall be
examined and reported on by the city clerk as prescribed therein, and
objections thereto shall be disposed of by the supreme court as
prescribed by such section. In addition, the city clerk, at the same
time that he transmits to the legislative body his certificate that the
petition complies or does not comply with all the requirements of law,
shall transmit a copy of such certificate to the person by whom the
petition was filed and, if he certifies that the petition does not
comply with all the requirements, shall state in such certificate
specifically in what respects it fails to comply. If he shall certify
that there is an insufficient number of valid signatures, he shall make
available to the legislative body a statement as to the number of
signatures found to be invalid and the reasons for such invalidity, and
shall make the same information available to the person by whom the
petition was filed and make it, together with the petition and his
notations of rulings thereon or relative thereto, a matter of public
record in his office. A finding by the city clerk that a petition does
not comply with all the requirements of law may be contested in a
proceeding in the supreme court.

6. Whether or not he finds the petition sufficient, the city clerk
shall transmit such proposed local law forthwith to the legislative
body. If the proposed local law is such that a mandatory referendum is
not required for its adoption under the provisions of this chapter or of
the city charter, such legislative body may adopt it as its own act
pursuant to article three of this chapter. If a mandatory referendum is
required, the legislative body may submit it to the electors of the city
at the next general election occurring at least sixty days after the
legislative body votes to submit it.

7. If, however, such a petition meets all the requirements of law and
during a period of two months immediately following the filing thereof
such legislative body shall fail so to adopt such local law without
change or to submit it without change to the electors of the city as
aforesaid, an additional petition filed with the city clerk at least two
months and not more than four months after the filing of the original
petition and signed at any time prior to its filing by qualified
electors who did not sign the original petition, equal in number to at
least five per centum of the total number of votes cast for governor in
such city at the last gubernatorial election, or to fifteen thousand,
whichever is less, may require the submission of the local law at the
next general election held not less than sixty days after the filing of
such additional petition.

8. Such an additional petition shall conform to the requirements of
subdivision five for an original petition and shall be dealt with by the
city clerk and by the supreme court in the same manner as an original
petition except that the city clerk shall submit his certificate as to
its sufficiency within twenty days after it is filed with him.

9. When so required by the filing of such an additional petition
complying with all the requirements of law, the city clerk shall
transmit such proposed local law in the form in which it is to be
submitted to the election officers charged with the duty of publishing
the notice of such election, and the legislative body shall provide for
suitable publication thereof and publicity thereon for the information
of interested voters. If there be more than one such proposed local law
to be voted upon at such election, each such proposed local law shall be
separately and consecutively numbered.

10. Any political committee organized for the purpose of supporting or
opposing any charter amendment or new charter submitted to the voters
under the provisions of this section shall have the same rights as a
political party to name watchers and challengers to serve at the
election at which the question is submitted.

11. No such petition for a proposed local law requiring the
expenditure of money shall be certified as sufficient by the city clerk
or become effective for the purposes of this section unless there shall
be submitted, as a part of such proposed local law, a plan to provide
moneys and revenues sufficient to meet such proposed expenditures. This
restriction shall not prevent the submission of a local law to adopt a
new charter or to reorganize the functions of city government, or a part
thereof, relying partly or solely on normal budgetary procedures to
provide the necessary moneys to meet the expenses of city government
under such reorganization, whether or not such reorganization includes
the creation of new offices, provided only that such reorganization
shall not require specific salaries or the expenditure of specific sums
of money not theretofore required.

12. No charter amendment or new charter submitted under the provisions
of this section which requires the expenditure of money shall become
effective with respect to such expenditure before the beginning of the
first fiscal year for which a city budget is prepared and adopted after
the adoption of the amendment or new charter.

13. If any such proposed local law receives the affirmative vote of a
majority of the qualified electors of such city voting thereon, it shall
become operative as prescribed therein, except that in case of conflict
between provisions of two or more local laws adopted at the same
election the local law receiving the largest number of affirmative votes
shall prevail to the extent of such conflict.