The New York State Senate today passed an important government reform bill that would put into law eight-year term limits for leadership positions in the Senate and Assembly. The bill (S1229), sponsored by Senator Joseph Griffo (R-C-I, Rome), builds upon what is already in place in Senate rules and also limits the number of years a legislator can serve as a leader or committee chair.
Senate Majority Leader John J. Flanagan said, “For years the Senate has adopted voluntary term limits for leaders and committee chairs because it is an important government reform that promotes accountability and stability. I am hopeful that the Assembly will join us in enacting this measure into law.”
Senator Griffo said, “New ideas and new perspectives will always inject new energy into our legislative efforts, and that’s why I firmly believe term limits on our leadership positions will help to fundamentally change the culture of Albany. We already lead by example by imposing our own rules in the Senate on term limits for leaders and committee chairs, but my proposed law would go even further by applying these term limits to all leaders in the full Legislature. If approved, these reforms would give more members in both the Senate and the Assembly the opportunity to play an active role in the leadership of our governing bodies. By taking this positive step toward accountability in Albany, I believe we are holding ourselves to a higher standard and it is my hope that the Assembly will follow our lead in truly transforming state government for the better.”
The legislation limits the tenure of the Temporary President of the Senate, Speaker of the Assembly, and minority leaders of both houses to eight years. Legislative committee chairs would also be limited to serving no more than eight consecutive years.
The Senate first voluntarily implemented leadership term limits in 2009 as part of the rules governing the Senate. Adoption of the measure passed today would make them permanent in law for both the Senate and Assembly.
The bill will be sent to the Assembly, where it is sponsored by Assemblywoman Sandy Galef (A6109).