Provides that the Governor's annual budget proposal to the Legislature shall include statements of any new legislation, amendment to legislation, or limitation on the effect of any legislation contained in the budget; makes related provisions granting the legislature an equal role with the governor in the budget process.
NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A7185
TITLE OF BILL:
CONCURRENT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY proposing an amendment
to article 7 of the constitution, relating to content of article VII
To amend the State Constitution to enable the Legislature to play an
equal role with the Governor in shaping the state budget.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 1: Would amend §§ 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of Article VII of the Consti-
§ 2 would be amended to provide that the Governor's annual budget
proposal to the Legislature shall include statements of any new legis-
lation, amendment to legislation, or limitation on the effect of any
legislation contained in the budget.
§ 3 would be amended to provide that any new legislation, amendment to
legislation, or limitation on the effect of any legislation contained in
any bill submitted under Article VII shall be separately stated, in a
manner to enable the Legislature and the Governor to act on it under
§ 4 of Article VII.
§ 4 would be amended to provide that in addition to striking, reducing
or adding items of appropriation, the Legislature may modify or substi-
tute items of appropriation and may add, delete, modify or substitute
any new legislation, amendment to legislation, or limitation on the
effect of any legislation, provided that the additions, modifications
and substitutions shall be separately stated. This would also apply to
the portions of the budget funding the legislature and the judiciary.
The modifications and substitutions (as is now true for additions) will
be subject to veto by the Governor, and the veto would be subject to
override by the Legislature. Deletions of legislation items would not be
subject to veto.
§ 5 would be amended to repeal the requirement for a Governor's message
of necessity to enable the Legislature to act on appropriation bills
(for a single object or purpose) of its own before it has acted on the
Governor's budget appropriation bills.
§ 6 would be amended to clarify that if the Governor vetoes a separate
appropriation bill, the veto may be overridden. It would also be amended
..to provide for legislative action on supplemental budget bills similar
to actions on the main budget.
Section 2 provides for referral of the bill to the next separately
elected session of the Legislature and publication.
Separation of powers and checks and balances are fundamental to America
democracy. In New York, the state budget is central to public policy
making. It-controls not only appropriations but also most legislative
activity each year. Yet under our state constitution, as written and as
interpreted by a series of court decisions over decades, this central
part of state government does not follow the doctrines of separation of
powers and checks and balances.
The Legislature may eliminate, reduce, increase or add items of appro-
priation. However, the Legislature is barred from modifying any appro-
priation. This has been interpreted to bar the Legislature from substi-
tuting an appropriation from one that is deleted or reduced. This
severely limits the Legislature's ability to fulfill its proper consti-
tutional role, especially as more and more substantive legislation is
incorporated in the budget.
When the current system of gubernatorial dominance and the Legislature's
subsidiary role is described to individual New Yorkers, they find it
hard to believe the system is so lopsided. This amendment would provide
the Legislature - the branch of government closest to individual New
Yorkers - with the full-fledged role in budget-making and legislating
contemplated by our nation and state's founders.
2020: A9100 Referred to W&M / Senate Judiciary
2022: A1928 referred to opinion referred to judiciary/ Senate opinion
referred to judiciary
January 1 after approval by the voters.
STATE OF NEW YORK
2023-2024 Regular Sessions
May 12, 2023
Introduced by M. of A. LAVINE -- read once and referred to the Committee
on Ways and Means
CONCURRENT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY
proposing an amendment to article 7 of the constitution, relating to
content of article VII bills
1 Section 1. Resolved (if the Senate concur), That section 2 of article
2 7 of the constitution be amended to read as follows:
3 § 2. Annually, on or before the first day of February in each year
4 following the year fixed by the constitution for the election of gover-
5 nor and lieutenant governor, and on or before the second Tuesday follow-
6 ing the first day of the annual meeting of the legislature, in all other
7 years, the governor shall submit to the legislature a budget containing
8 a complete plan of expenditures proposed to be made before the close of
9 the ensuing fiscal year and all moneys and revenues estimated to be
10 available therefor, together with an explanation of the basis of such
11 estimates and recommendations as to proposed legislation, if any, which
12 the governor may deem necessary to provide moneys and revenues suffi-
13 cient to meet such proposed expenditures. It shall also contain such
14 other recommendations and information as the governor may deem proper
15 and such additional information as may be required by law. The budget
16 shall include statements of any new legislation, amendment to legis-
17 lation, or limitation on the effect of any legislation contained in the
19 § 2. Resolved (if the Senate concur), That section 3 of article 7 of
20 the constitution be amended to read as follows:
21 § 3. At the time of submitting the budget to the legislature the
22 governor shall submit a bill or bills containing all the proposed appro-
23 priations and reappropriations included in the budget and the proposed
24 legislation, if any, recommended therein.
25 The governor may at any time within thirty days thereafter and, with
26 the consent of the legislature, at any time before the adjournment ther-
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 7185 2
1 eof, amend or supplement the budget and submit amendments to any bills
2 submitted by him or her or submit supplemental bills.
3 Any new legislation, amendment to legislation, or limitation on the
4 effect of any legislation contained in any bill submitted under this
5 section shall be separately stated, in a manner to enable the legisla-
6 ture and the governor to act in relation to that matter under section 4
7 of this article.
8 The governor and the heads of departments shall have the right, and it
9 shall be the duty of the heads of departments when requested by either
10 house of the legislature or an appropriate committee thereof, to appear
11 and be heard in respect to the budget during the consideration thereof,
12 and to answer inquiries relevant thereto. The procedure for such appear-
13 ances and inquiries shall be provided by law.
14 § 3. Resolved (if the Senate concur), That section 4 of article 7 of
15 the constitution be amended to read as follows:
16 § 4. The legislature may [not] alter an appropriation bill submitted
17 by the governor [except] to strike out or reduce items therein, [but it
18 may] to add thereto items of appropriation, or to modify or substitute
19 items of appropriation (including adding, deleting, modifying or substi-
20 tuting any new legislation, amendment to legislation, or limitation on
21 the effect of any legislation); provided that such additions, modifica-
22 tions, and substitutions are stated separately and distinctly from the
23 original items of the bill and refer each to a single object or purpose.
24 [None of the restrictions of this section, however, shall apply to
25 appropriations for the legislature or judiciary.]
26 Such an appropriation bill shall when passed by both houses be a law
27 immediately without further action by the governor, except that appro-
28 priations for the legislature and judiciary and separate items added to
29 and modifications or substitutions of the governor's bills by the legis-
30 lature shall be subject to approval of the governor and action by the
31 legislature as provided in section 7 of article IV. Provided, however,
32 that where a modification or substitution by the legislature is a
33 deletion of new legislation, a deletion of an amendment to legislation,
34 or a deletion of a limitation on the effect of any legislation, any of
35 which were submitted by the governor under this article, it shall not be
36 subject to approval of the governor.
37 § 4. Resolved (if the Senate concur), That section 5 of article 7 of
38 the constitution be amended to read as follows:
39 § 5. [Neither house of the] The legislature [shall] may consider any
40 other bill making an appropriation [until all] whether or not it has
41 acted on the appropriation bills submitted by the governor [shall have
42 been finally acted on by both houses, except on message from the gover-
43 nor certifying to the necessity of the immediate passage of such a
45 § 5. Resolved (if the Senate concur), That section 6 of article 7 of
46 the constitution be amended to read as follows:
47 § 6. Except for appropriations contained in the bills submitted by the
48 governor and in a supplemental appropriation bill for the support of
49 government, no appropriations shall be made except by separate bills
50 each for a single object or purpose. All such bills and such supple-
51 mental appropriation bill shall be subject to the governor's approval
52 and action by the legislature as provided in section 7 of article IV.
53 No provision shall be embraced in any appropriation bill submitted by
54 the governor or in such supplemental appropriation bill unless it
55 relates specifically to some particular appropriation in the bill, and
A. 7185 3
1 any such provision shall be limited in its operation to such appropri-
3 Any new legislation, amendment to legislation, or limitation on the
4 effect of any legislation contained in a supplemental appropriation bill
5 under this section shall be separately stated, in a manner to enable the
6 legislature and the governor to act in relation to that matter under
7 section 7 of article IV, and shall be subject to the governor's approval
8 and action by the legislature as provided in section 7 of article IV.
9 § 6. Resolved (if the Senate concur), That the foregoing amendments be
10 referred to the first regular legislative session convening after the
11 next succeeding general election of members of the assembly, and, in
12 conformity with section 1 of article 19 of the constitution, be
13 published for 3 months previous to the time of such election.