Senate Passes Term Limits for State Legislative Leadership

March 02, 2015

The New York State Senate today passed legislation that would set into law eight-year term limits for leadership positions in the Senate and Assembly. The measure (S2722B), sponsored by Senator Joseph A. Griffo (R-C-I, Rome), is consistent with what is already in place in Senate rules and also limits the number of consecutive years a legislator can serve as a committee chair or party leader.

Senate Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos said, “The Senate voluntarily put into place term limits for leaders and committee chairs because we understand that government can benefit from change. While the Assembly had previously ignored the Senate’s efforts to adopt these term limits, I am hopeful that they will join us in passing this important government reform.”

Senator Griffo said, “Today, we've taken a step toward better government. Capping the time that leaders and committee chairs can serve in those posts will ensure fresh, new ideas and lead to better laws and more open, accessible government for citizens. We should constantly be looking for ways to make government work more effectively, and to help build the public's trust and confidence in their elected leaders.”

The bill 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.