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The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government

 
New York State Government: Revising the State Constitution

Revising the State Constitution

Gubernatorial Succession and the Powers of the Lieutenant Governor

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A Public Policy Forum featuring Honorable Joseph L. Bruno, Majority Leader and President Pro Tem, New York State Senate; Honorable Robin Schimminger, New York State Assembly; Panel: Gerald Benjamin, SUNY New Paltz, Richard Briffault, Columbia University, Peter J. Galie, Canisius College. May 29, 2008
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Segment 1: Honorable Robin Schimminger
Segment 2: Honorable Joseph L. Bruno
Panel: Gerald Benjamin, Richard Briffault, and Peter Galie

Constitutions and Effective Government: The Case of New York

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A Public Policy Forum featuring Peter J. Galie, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Political Science, Canisius College. April 20, 2007

New York State Government: Second Edition


A new edition of the definitive guide to New York State government, looking at the agenda and challenges facing New York policymakers in the years ahead. With five new chapters, the book also examines the issue of the upstate economy, New York‘s complex array of local governments, and the role of debt and public authorities.
Robert B. Ward, The Rockefeller Institute Press, 2006
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Amending the New York State Constitution — Current Reform Issues

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Current reform issues call for amending the New York State Constitution. The two ways to amend it — through Legislative proposal, which the voters would vote on, or placing the call for a convention on a ballot, which happens every twenty years — are discussed. The possibility and feasibility of a third way called, “a limited call convention,” are also explored.
A Public Policy Forum with Gerald Benjamin, Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, State University at New Paltz, and Richard Briffault, Joseph P. Chamberlain Professor of Legislation at Columbia Law School. March 14, 2005

Charter Revision in the Empire State: The Politics of New York's 1967 Constitutional Convention


Few citizens know much about the constitution of their state. Yet state constitutions are basic instruments of our democracy. They structure state and local government and stipulate the rights of citizenship. In New York State, the constitution mandates a periodic vote on whether the state constitution should be revised. This is a history of the 1967 constitutional convention.
Henrik N. Dullea, The Rockfeller Institute Press, 1997
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Decision 1997: Constitutional Change in New York


The material presented in this book grew out of the work of the Temporary Commission on Constitutional Revision created in 1993 and chaired by Peter G. Goldmark, Jr. Former New York State Governor Malcolm Wilson, to whom this book is dedicated and who served as a member of the Commission, said of this compendium, "This volume deserves to have a long shelf life even after the people exercise their duty to vote on this issue in 1997. These papers constitute a valuable resource on our great governmental heritage."
Gerald Benjamin and Henrik N. Dullea (eds.), The Rockfeller Institute Press, 1997.
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Constitutional Conventionphobia

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This essay examines the reasons for constitutional ”conventionphobia” at national and state levels and lists and discusses possible cures, such as: limited conventions, indirect initiative, constitutional commission with direct ballot access, statutory standing constitutional commission, action panels, and building deliberation into the initiative process. An amending process, it argues, needs balance between ease and difficulty, to allow change while preserving continuity, and between “how” a constitution is amended and “who” does the amending, to allow deliberation while preserving legitimacy.
Gerald Benjamin and Thomas Gais. Hofstra Law and Policy Symposium, 1996.

Effective Government Now for the New Century

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The final report of the Temporary Commission on Constitutional Revision created in 1993 and chaired by Peter G. Goldmark, Jr.
Gerald Benjamin, with Peter Goldmark, Pauline Toole, and Eric Lane, The Rockefeller Institute for the Temporary State Commission on Constitutional Revision, February 1995.

Public Discontent and the Decline of Deliberation: A Dilemma in State Constitutional Reform

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How can states respond to demands for fundamental changes in a thoughtful, deliberative manner if many of the same political problems and public attitudes that gave rise to those demands also block traditional channels for addressing them? This essay seeks to articulate this problem and to sketch some solutions, including new procedures for revisiting state constitutions that would blend the processes of direct democracy and representative institutions and enhance the deliberative quality of direct citizen participation.
Thomas Gais and Gerald Benjamin, Temple Law Review, Fall 1995.

The New York State Constitution: A Briefing Book

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This briefing book was prepared for the work of the Temporary Commission on Constitutional Revision created in 1993 and chaired by Peter G. Goldmark, Jr.
Gerald Benjamin (ed.), The Rockefeller Institute for the Temporary State Commission on Constitutional Revision, 1994.