Constitutional Convention Is Needed To Reshape State

Peter Galie and Christopher Bopst in a Buffalo News oped:”Our study of New York’s constitutional history indicates nearly every major right – communal or individual – offered in the state constitution was added by constitutional conventions, not legislative amendments, including:

The state’s Bill of Rights; environmental protections (the “forever wild” clause preserving state forest lands in the Adirondacks); the Education Article, which has been interpreted to provide the right to a sound basic education; the requirement that the state provide aid and care for its needy; provisions encouraging the state and municipalities to provide low-income housing for vulnerable residents; and a labor bill of rights.

Would these provisions have been adopted without resort to constitutional conventions? Maybe, but we wouldn’t bet our future on it.”

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