NY voters overwhelmingly reject constitutional convention

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NY voters overwhelmingly reject constitutional convention

NY voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly rejected a constitutional convention, opposing a chance to open the state's highest governing document to its first large-scale rewrite since 1938.

If it would have been approved, the state would have kickstarted a multi-year process to convene a constitutional convention, where 204 delegates would have gathered in Albany and debate ways to reshape New York's 60,000-word constitution.

"Today was a win for our coalition but, more importantly, a win for all New Yorkers".

Another proposition to ease the forever wild restrictions in Adirondacks and Catskills forests by creating a land bank appeared in jeopardy of failing, according to early returns.

In Westchester County the Yes votes (140,965) secured a 73 percent advantage over the No votes (52,861) with 27 percent of the vote.

"Our constitution has some of the strongest worker protections in the country, including the right to collectively bargain, unemployment insurance, workers' compensation", Cilento said. "The Constitutional Convention movement was always about fundamentally reforming our broken system and transforming the state's government from an embarrassment into a proud model for the rest of the nation".

Among those who supported a convention were former Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman and Democratic donor Bill Samuels, who put more than $300,000 toward his campaign supporting a "yes" vote.

Statewide, the question of the constitutional convention failed by a similar margin, with about 75 percent of voters rejecting the proposal.

New Yorkers passed on a once-in-two-decades chance to hold a constitutional convention, voting in overwhelming numbers against it. Opponents, led by the state's labor unions, successfully argued that the constitution already contains a number of rights, including several labor protections, and that it might be unsafe to reopen the entire document at a convention that they said could be hijacked by special interests.

As of 10 p.m., the ballot proposal was too close to call, with 44 percent of voters supporting it and 44 percent opposed. "For crimes committed after the enactment of the constitutional amendment, not only would taxpayer money be saved, but also the message would go out that the Empire State no longer tolerates - and bankrolls - corruption", Buchwald said in a recent Op Ed published by Examiner News. It amends the New York Constitution to make it easier for municipalities to fix a road, install public utility lines or add bicycle trails within the 2.6-million-acre Adirondack forest preserve. Shall the proposed amendment be approved? Area towns, villages and counties with "no viable alternative" to using forest preserve land for those public projects could make withdrawals of small parcels of needed land.

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