League of Women Voters of the Rivertowns
LWV NYS Capitol Beat Weekly Wrap-Up
- Women's March
- Legislative Action
- Defend Democracy
- Legislative Procedures
- Inside Albany
- Constitutional Convention.
Let’s Work Together to Make Democracy Work!
Congratulations to all who participated in Saturday’s Women’s March. The League of Women Voters of New York State had a fantastic turnout from our members. Local League members marched in Washington DC, New York City, Albany, Seneca Falls, Sag Harbor, Glens Falls, Hudson, Utica, Rochester, and Syracuse.
We have been overwhelmed listening to the experiences of our members throughout the state. Members traveled long distances from the farthest corners of the state down to NYC and even as far as Washington. They met members of other local Leagues and in some cases other state Leagues!
We are so proud of all of you are your commitment to ensuring a fair democracy for all. Now more than ever we must maintain this momentum! Encourage your friends and family to get involved and check our National site for tips on how to do more at the national level.
Be sure to follow us on twitter @LWVNYS and like us on Facebook for real time information on what is going on in our state legislature. We post about active legislation and encourage our members to contact their representative when bills are on the move. Follow The Capitol Beat blog for weekly entries on the legislative session and a full description of our weekly legislative actions.
Thank you again to everyone who participated in the march. None of this would have been possible without you!
League of Women Voters
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Washington, DC 20036
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On December 10th, the LWVR met to come to a consensus on updates to NYS legislative procedures.
Here is some helpful background information to familiarize you with the questions that were considered.
The Rivertowns League reached consensus on the following items:
Term Lengths for State Legislators
The consensus was for staggered 2-4-4 terms for both Assembly Members and Senators. A system with legislators who serve one two-year term and two four-year terms every ten years is considered a 2-4-4 term system.
Legislative Leadership and Committee Chairs
There was a consensus for restrictions on leadership and committee chair positions. As it can take time to develop expertise, 8-10 years seemed like a reasonable limit for a committee chair and there would be allowances to assume other titles. Entrenched leadership can produce corruption and stagnation and chill the development of new talent to move up the ranks. There was agreement that no limit should be imposed on the number of positions allowed in each chamber.
Allowances for Leadership Positions, or “LULUs”
A metric should be developed to define which committees deserve stipends as some committees accomplish meaningful work while others appear to exist to “make work”.
There was a consensus that no limit should be imposed on outside income but all income (including campaign contributions) should be publicly traceable and enforced by an independent ethics board. Legislators should recuse themselves if a conflict presents itself. All compensation should weigh in the cost of living in different areas of the state.
We are delighted to announce that we are sending two outstanding students this year to the popular Students Inside Albany program. They were chosen from several applicants that we received. We are confident that they will have a great experience in May.
Eric Schmid, a Junior at Ossining High School, is an Eagle Scout, has worked at the Ossining Public Library, and volunteered at a soup kitchen and Midnight Run.
“While learning about the local, federal, and world governmental organizations, I attended a school board meeting. It gave me a new found appreciation of the board members for heir hard work and dedication to our community.”
Katelin Penner, a Junior at Hastings High School, has extensive volunteer experience; she has tutored 6th-grade geography student and was the student voluntee mentor for the Special Education Department. At school, she sings in the chorus and Madrigal Choir, and is a member of the Varsity Academic challenge Team. She was a counselor at Riverarts Day Camp.
“I feel that if I were selected, this experience would help me acquire the knowledge necessary to prepare me to vote and promote action in the 2018 Midterm Elections.”
Voters in New York State will decide this November whether to have a constitutional convention; this occurs every twenty years as mandated by the New York State constitution. As a public service to the community, the Rivertowns League of Women Voters is hosting an informational forum which will cover the historical background of this process, the pros and cons of a convention, how the constitution can be changed, determining procedures for the convention, and policy areas for possible change.
Speaking to these issues is a distinguished panel of legal experts: John Nonna, Nicholas Robinson, and Jay C. Carlisle II. Messrs. Nonna and Robinson are members of the New York State Bar Association Special Committee on the New York State Constitution, and Messrs. Robinson and Carlisle are highly esteemed faculty at the Elizabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University.
The forum will be on Saturday, March 25 at 10:30 a.m. at the Greenburgh Public Library Multipurpose Room, 300 Tarrytown Road, Elmsford, New York. This event is free and open to the public and all are welcome. A light breakfast will be served.
Please RSVP to email@example.com.