Summer 1997 Home   Newsletters

Fall 1997


President's Message (Jean Aoki)
Tom Grey of NCALG Coming to Hawaii
Education Committee Report
Web Page
State Board Actions
League Local News - Hawaii County
League Local News - Honolulu
League Local News - Kauai
National Domestic Violence Conference (Suzanne Meisenzahl)
Cindy Spencer Receives Unsung Hero Award '97
National Convention
Reflections on Hawaii (Mary Anne Raywid)
Making Democracy Work Campaign Finance Reform (Toni Worst)
New York State Con Con Vote
Thank You!
Meet Your Board
Charter Schools (insert)
Hawaii's Bill of Rights (insert) (Ann Feder Lee)

New York State Con Con Vote

On Nov. 4, 1997, the voters of New York State voted on a call for a convention to be held in 1999, if authorized, with delegates slated to be selected in November of 1998. The measure was defeated.

What distinguished this from Hawaii's vote on the question of whether to hold a con con or not was that the New York voters went to the polls armed with a wealth of information. A commission, appointed in 1993 to look at the processes for holding a convention, come up with recommendations to improve them, and develop a "broadbased" agenda of interests and concerns which might be considered by a con con, published reports - "Delegate Selection Process" and a 251-page compilation of articles "The New York State Briefing Book in 1994. Public hearings were scheduled on these reports.

198 Delegates at $57,000 per delegate

According to a pamphlet published by the League of Women Voters of New York State, 1997 Facts for Voters, three delegates were to be elected from each Senate district, and an additional 15 delegates elected on a statewide, at-large basis, making a total of 198 delegates. Each delegate would have been paid a salary of $57,500 which is the same salary that members of the legislature receive annually. Only the delegates to the convention could limit the scope of the convention action to specific topics. There was no time limit on the length of a convention. Apparently, legislators could run for delegates' seats and at the same time run for seats in the legislature.

New York State League Opposed Con Con

The LWV of New York opposed the Con Con along with, among others, Association of the Bar of the City of New York, League of Conservation Voters, National Organization for Women, New York State AFLCIO, and Sierra Club. According to the October issue of the Rochester Voter, "League believes that the system for selecting delegates favors political incumbents and dilutes minority representation. New Yorkers would not be fairly represented, making a real people's convention impossible and the prospects for true reform poor. Valued portions of the constitution - such as the forever wild clause that protects the Adirondacks and the state's obligation to care for the needy - might be at risk.

Some Issues Suggested by Proponents

Some of the issues considered by proponents of Con Con were a unicameral legislature, term limits, initiative and referendum, merit selection of judges, the establishment of a nonpartisan redistricting commission to redraw the state legislative lines following each census, making education a greater state financial responsibility, a lifting of the prohibition on state funding for non-public schools, the initiation of a tuition voucher system, and exemption from school taxes for taxpayers whose children are educated in nonpublic schools.

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