Griffo Urges Term Limit for Office of Governor

Joseph A. Griffo

October 12, 2009


Utica - Senator Joseph A. Griffo (R,I,C – Rome) continued to press for a reform-minded agenda today by calling for further overhaul of New York's political power structure by introducing legislation, Senate bill 6195, that would limit a Governor to one six-year term of office.

“As a strong believer in reforming a system that allows power to be perpetuated, I have become convinced that changing New York’s laws to require the Governor to serve only one term will help the state. Instead of the months, if not years, that are wasted while politicians, pundits and the media focus on nothing more than the next election, whoever is elected Governor will be able to focus on getting the job done the right way from the minute he or she assumes office,” Griffo said. “Instead of being forced to bend with the political winds, a Governor has the freedom to do what he or she promised when campaigning without the influence of support that might be needed for a second term. Also, this ensures a fresh point of view and a changing power structure instead of a system where Executive Branch positions of power begin to feel like entitlements and not positions of responsibility.”

Griffo said that the State of Virginia limits Governors to one four-year term, but that he felt four years was not enough time. “I think a six-year term allows anyone the opportunity to give his or her ideas a try, adapt ideas to changing times, and accomplish what is possible,” Griffo said. “I also believe that if we twin this important reform with my reform proposal to give the people of New York the power of recall, we will have structured government to make it more responsive to the people and to ensure that leadership positions rotate among the many outstanding men and women who are qualified to lead.”

This is not Griffo’s first effort to support term limits. In the Spring of 2007, he introduced legislation that would create term limits for legislative leadership positions. Much of that proposal was incorporated into new State Senate rules that took effect this summer. Key elements of Griffo’s Reform Agenda include:

  • S.6093 to call for a state constitutional convention that can fix the structural flaws in the Legislature and in the rules that govern vacancies for elected positions, so that there can be no more appointments to statewide offices and no more backroom dealing.


  • S. 6060 to create a mechanism for recall that will remind Albany the people, not the politicians, are in charge.


  • S. 6067 that puts a process in place to fill the office of lieutenant governor and allows the Legislature, as the voice of the people,   a real voice in the process.


  • S. 2929 and S. 2930 to create special elections for statewide offices of comptroller and attorney general when they become vacant.