Griffo urges governor to consider additional good government reforms

Following Gov. Kathy Hochul’s recent announcement that she will be proposing term limits on statewide elected officials, New York State Sen. Joseph Griffo, R-I-C-Rome, who has been a longtime supporter of and advocate for term limits, today sent a letter to the governor urging her consider additional good government reforms that he has proposed. 

“While I am pleased that you also have chosen to embrace this concept, I urge you to move even further and to consider a number of other ideas that I have proposed that will bring about real change in state government,” Sen. Griffo wrote to the governor. “I am hopeful that, given the new interest in term limits and other good government reforms, we can generate more momentum to actually get something done.” 

Since his election the Senate, Sen. Griffo has championed term limits and good government reforms. He has introduced legislation every year that would limit the tenures of the governor, state comptroller, attorney general and members of the Legislature. 

The current version of Sen. Griffo’s bill (S3875) establishing term limits would limit the governor, comptroller and attorney general to two terms, while legislators would be restricted to six, two-year terms.  

The bill, which is sponsored by Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner, D-Round Lake, has been referred to the Senate's Judiciary Committee. It would go into effect after it is approved by two consecutive legislatures and passed by voters in a referendum. 

Additionally, Sen. Griffo has sponsored legislation that has passed the Senate several times that would create eight-year term limits for leadership positions in the Senate and Assembly. The bill limits the number of years a member can serve as a leader or committee chair, and further applies these limits to both bodies of the full Legislature. 

The full text of Sen. Griffo’s letter to the governor is below: 

Jan. 4, 2022 

 

Gov. Kathy Hochul 

Executive Chamber 

NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224 

 

Dear Gov. Hochul: 

I am writing regarding your recent announcement that you will be proposing term limits on statewide elected officials.  

It has been my long-standing belief that, if you want to fundamentally change the culture of Albany, you need to limit the amount of time our elected officials are in office. That is why, throughout my time in the Senate, I have advocated for and introduced legislation that would establish term limits on the offices of governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and comptroller, as well as legislators. Imposing such limits will regularly shake up the makeup of state government, which will force change and reinvigorate the legislative process by bringing in new faces and fresh ideas. 

While I am pleased that you also have chosen to embrace this concept, I urge you to move even further and to consider a number of other ideas that I have proposed that will bring about real change in state government. These bills, which have all been introduced, include: 

 

  • S6759: The bill would establish initiative, referendum and recall. 

 

  • S3774: The bill would provide a method for filling a vacancy in the office of lieutenant governor. The governor would nominate a new lieutenant governor within 30 days of the vacancy, and the Senate and Assembly would confirm or reject that individual through independent votes in each house. 

 

  • S3819: The bill provides that candidates for governor and lieutenant Governor be designated jointly and run together as a slate in the event of a primary election, as is currently provided for in the general election. 

 

  • S3775: The bill would remove the constitutional provision that the lieutenant governor shall act as governor whenever the governor is absent from the state. 

 

  • S3781: The bill amends the public officers law to provide that when a vacancy occurs during the term of the comptroller or attorney general or U.S. senator, the governor may make a proclamation calling for a special election to fill such office. The special election shall be held not less than forty-five nor more than sixty days from the date of the proclamation. 

 

  • S3874: The bill limits the tenure of legislative leaders and committee chairs. This has been passed several times by the Senate and is now a rule in the chamber. 

 

I am hopeful that, given the new interest in term limits and other good government reforms, we can generate more momentum to actually get something done. 

Thank you for your consideration of this matter. 

Sincerely, 

Joseph A. Griffo 

State Senate, 47th District