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  • THE CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK As Revised, with Amendments Adopted by the Constitutional Convention of 1938 and Approved by vote of the People on November 8, 1938. As Amended and in Force January 1, 2002, but with November 2003 results included ARTICLE I* Bill of Rights Sec.  1. Rights, privileges and franchise secured; uncontested primary elections.  2. Trial by jury; how waived.  3. Freedom of worship; religious liberty.  4. Habeas corpus.  5. Bail; fines; punishments; detention of witnesses.  6. Grand jury; waiver of indictment; right to counsel; informing accused; double jeopardy; self-incrimination; waiver of immunity by public officers; due process of law.  7. Just compensation for taking private property; private roads; drainage of agricultural lands.  8. Freedom of speech and press; criminal prosecutions for libel.  9. Right to assemble and petition; divorce; lotteries; pool-selling and gambling; laws to prevent; certain state operated lotteries authorized; pari-mutuel betting on horse races, and bingo or lotto permitted.  10. (Repealed.)  11. Equal protection of laws; discrimination in civil rights prohibited.  12. Security against unreasonable searches, seizures and interceptions.  13. (Repealed.)  14. Common law and acts of the state legislatures.  15. (Repealed.)  16. Damages for injuries causing death.  17. Labor not a commodity; hours and wages in public work; right to organize and bargain collectively.  18. Workers' compensation. ARTICLE II Suffrage Sec.  1. Qualifications of voters.  2. Absentee voting.  3. Persons excluded from the right of suffrage.  4. Certain occupations and conditions not to affect residence.  5. Registration and election laws to be passed.  6. Permanent registration.  7. Manner of voting; identification of voters.  8. Bi-partisan registration and election boards.  9. Entitlement to vote for presidential electors. ARTICLE III Legislature Sec.  1. Legislative power.  2. Number and terms of senators and assembly members.  3. Senate districts.  4. Readjustments and reapportionments; when federal census to control.  5. Apportionment of assembly members; creation of assembly districts. 5-a. Definition of inhabitants for purpose of apportioning.  6. Compensation, allowances and traveling expenses of members.  7. Members; qualifications; not to receive certain civil appointments; acceptance to vacate seat.  8. Time of elections of members.  9. Powers of each house.  10. Journals; open sessions; adjournments.  11. Members not to be questioned for speeches.  12. Bills may originate in either house; may be amended by the other.  13. Enacting clause of bills; no law to be enacted except by bill.  14. Manner of passing bills; message of necessity for immediate vote.  15. Private or local bills to embrace only one subject to be expressed in title.  16. Existing law not to be made applicable by reference.  17. Cases in which private or local bills shall not be passed.  18. Extraordinary sessions of the legislature; power to convene on legislative initiative.  19. Private claims not to be audited by legislature; claims barred by lapse of time.  20. Two-thirds bills.  21. Certain sections not to apply to bills recommended by certain commissioners or public agencies.  22. Tax laws to state tax and object distinctly; exception.  23. When yeas and nays necessary; three-fifths to constitute quorum.  24. Prison labor; contract system abolished.  25. Continuity of state and local governmental operations in periods of emergency. ARTICLE IV Executive Sec.  1. Executive power; election and terms of governor and lieutenant-governor.  2. Qualifications of governor and lieutenant-governor.  3. Powers and duties of governor; compensation.  4. Reprieves, commutations and pardons; powers and duties of governor relating to grants of.  5. When lieutenant-governor to act as governor.  6. Qualifications, duties and compensation of lieutenant-governor; succession to the governorship.  7. Action by governor on legislative bills; reconsideration after veto.  8. Departmental rules and regulations; filing; publication. ARTICLE V Officers and Civil Departments Sec.  1. Comptroller and attorney-general, election, qualifications and duties; payment of state moneys without audit void.  2. Civil departments in state government.  3. Assignment of functions; number of departments may be reduced.  4. Department heads.  5. (Repealed.)  6. Civil service appointments and promotions; veterans' preferences and credits.  7. Membership in retirement systems; benefits not to be diminished nor impaired. ARTICLE VI Judiciary Sec.  1. Unified court system for state established; organization; courts of record; service and execution of process.  2. Court of appeals and judges thereof; designation of supreme court justices to serve temporarily; judicial nominating commission; filling of vacancies by appointment; confirmation of appointments.  3. Court of appeals; jurisdiction.  4. Judicial departments; appellate divisions of supreme court and justices thereof; temporary designation of additional justices; transfer of appeals; jurisdiction.  5. Appeals from judgment or order; power of appellate court; transfer of appeals taken to unauthorized appellate court.  6. Judicial districts; composition; supreme court continued; justices of supreme court.  7. Jurisdiction of supreme court; new classes of actions.  8. Appellate terms of supreme court; composition and jurisdiction.  9. Court of claims continued; judges; jurisdiction.  10. County court continued; judges.  11. County court; jurisdiction; separate divisions.  12. Surrogate's court continued; judges; jurisdiction.  13. Family court established; composition; election and appointment of judges; jurisdiction.  14. Combination of certain judicial offices.  15. New York city; city-wide courts established; merger; judges; jurisdiction.  16. District courts; establishment; jurisdiction; judges; Nassau county district court continued.  17. Town, village and city courts; jurisdiction; regulation; judges.  18. Trial by jury; trial without a jury; claims against the state.  19. Transfer of actions and proceedings.  20. Judicial office, qualifications and restrictions.  21. Vacancies; how filled.  22. Commission on judicial conduct; membership; organization and procedure; review by court of appeals; discipline of judges.  23. Removal of certain judges and justices, by legislature; by senate on recommendation of governor.  24. Court for the trial of impeachments.  25. Compensation and retirement of certain judges and justices.  26. Temporary assignments of justices or judges to other courts.  27. Supreme court; extraordinary terms.  28. Administrative supervision of the courts.  29. Allocation of cost of maintenance and operation of courts; determination of annual financial needs of the courts.  30. Regulation of jurisdiction, practice and procedure of the courts.  31. Peacemakers and other Indian courts continued.  32. Safeguarding religion of children under jurisdiction of court.  33. Existing laws to continue in force; legislature to implement article.  34. Determination of pending appeals, actions and proceedings; terms of judges and justices now in office.  35. Abolition of certain courts; disposal of records; transfer of judges, justices, court personnel and pending actions and proceedings.  36. Disposal of appeals, actions and proceedings. 36-a. Effective date of certain amendments to articles VI and VII. 36-c. Effective date of certain amendments to article VI, sec. 22.  37. Effective date of article. ARTICLE VII State Finances Sec.  1. Estimates by departments, the legislature and the judiciary of needed appropriations; hearings.  2. Executive budget.  3. Budget bills; appearances before legislature.  4. Action on budget bills by legislature; effect thereof.  5. Restrictions on consideration of other appropriations.  6. Restrictions on content of appropriation bills.  7. Appropriation bills.  8. Gift or loan of state credit or money prohibited; exceptions for enumerated purposes.  9. Short term state debts in anticipation of taxes, revenues and proceeds of sale of authorized bonds.  10. State debts on account of invasion, insurrection, war and forest fires.  11. State debts generally; manner of contracting; referendum.  12. State debts generally; how paid; restrictions on use of bond proceeds.  13. Refund of state debts.  14. State debt for elimination of railroad crossings at grade; expenses; how borne; construction and reconstruction of state highways and parkways.  15. Sinking funds; how kept and invested; income therefrom and application thereof.  16. Payment of state debts; when comptroller to pay without appropriation.  17. Authorizing the legislature to establish a fund or funds for tax revenue stabilization reserves; regulating payments thereto and withdrawals therefrom.  18. Bonus on account of service of certain veterans in world war II.  19. State debt for expansion of state university. ARTICLE VIII Local Finances Sec.  1. Gift or loan or credit of local subdivisions prohibited; exceptions for enumerated purposes.  2. Restrictions on indebtedness of local subdivisions; contracting and payment of local indebtedness; exceptions. 2-a. Local indebtedness for water supply, sewage disposal and drainage facilities and purposes; allocations and exclusions of indebtedness.  3. Restrictions on creation and indebtedness of certain corporations.  4. Limitations on local indebtedness.  5. Ascertainment of debt-incurring power of counties, cities, towns and villages; certain indebtedness to be excluded.  6. Debt-incurring power of Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse; certain additional indebtedness to be excluded.  7. Debt-incurring power of New York city; certain additional indebtedness to be excluded. 7-a. Debt-incurring power of New York city; certain indebtedness for railroads and transit purposes to be excluded.  8. Indebtedness not to be invalidated by operation of this article.  9. When debt-incurring power of certain counties shall cease.  10. Limitations on amount to be raised by real estate taxes for local purposes; exceptions. 10-a. Application and use of revenues from certain public improvements.  11. Taxes for certain capital expenditures to be excluded from tax limitation.  12. Further limitations on local powers of taxation and indebtedness. ARTICLE IX Local Governments Sec.  1. Bill of rights for local governments.  2. Powers and duties of legislature; home rule powers of local governments; statute of local governments.  3. Existing laws to remain applicable; construction; definitions. ARTICLE X Corporations Sec.  1. Corporations; formation of.  2. Dues of corporations.  3. Savings bank charters; restrictions on trustees; special charters not to be granted.  4. Corporations; definition; right to sue and be sued.  5. Public corporations; restrictions on creation and powers; accounts; obligations  6. Liability of state for payment of bonds of public corporation to construct state thruways; use of state canal lands and properties.  7. Liability of state for payment of obligations of port of New York authority for purchase of railroad passenger equipment.  8. Liability of state for payment of obligations of public corporation issued to finance new industrial or manufacturing plants in depressed areas. ARTICLE XI Education Sec.  1. Common schools.  2. Regents of the University.  3. Use of public property or money in aid of denominational schools prohibited; transportation of children authorized. ARTICLE XII Defense Sec.  1. Defense of state; organized militia. ARTICLE XIII Public Officers Sec.  1. Oath of office; no other test for public office.  2. Duration of term of office.  3. Vacancies in office; how filled.  4. Political year and legislative term.  5. Removal from office for misconduct.  6. When office to be deemed vacant; legislature may declare.  7. Compensation of officers.  8. Election and term of city and certain county officers. 9-12. There are no sections 9-12.  13. Law enforcement and other officers.  14. Legislature may regulate wages, hours, etc. of public employees and of persons employed on public contracts. ARTICLE XIV Conservation Sec.  1. Forest preserve to be forever kept wild; certain uses and exceptions authorized.  2. Reservoirs.  3. Forest and wild life conservation; use or disposition of certain forest preserve lands authorized.  4. Protection of natural resources and the development of agricultural lands.  5. Violations of article; how restrained. ARTICLE XV Canals Sec.  1. Disposition of canals and canal properties prohibited.  2. Prohibition inapplicable to lands and properties no longer useful; disposition authorized.  3. No tolls to be imposed; contracts for work and materials; no extra compensation.  4. Lease or transfer of barge canal to federal government authorized. ARTICLE XVI Taxation Sec.  1. Power of taxation; exemptions from taxation.  2. Assessments for taxation purposes.  3. Situs of intangible personal property; taxation of.  4. Certain corporations not to be discriminated against.  5. Compensation of public officers and employees subject to taxation.  6. Municipal redevelopment projects; allocation of real property taxes therefor. ARTICLE XVII Social Welfare Sec.  1. Public relief and care.  2. State board of social welfare; powers and duties.  3. Public health.  4. Care and treatment of persons suffering from mental disorder or defect; visitation of institutions for.  5. Institutions for detention of criminals; probation; parole; state commission of correction.  6. Visitation and inspection.  7. Loan of public funds for hospital facilities. ARTICLE XVIII Housing Sec.  1. Housing and nursing home accommodations for persons of low income; slum clearance.  2. Idem; powers of legislature in aid of.  3. Article VII to apply to state debts under this article, with certain exceptions; amortization of state debts; capital and periodic subsidies.  4. Powers of cities, towns and villages to contract indebtedness in aid of low rent housing and slum clearance projects; restrictions thereon.  5. Liability for certain loans made by the state to certain public corporations.  6. Loans and subsidies; restrictions on and preference in occupancy of projects.  7. Liability arising from guarantees to be deemed indebtedness; method of computing.  8. Excess condemnation.  9. Acquisition of property for purposes of article.  10. Power of legislature; construction of article. ARTICLE XIX Amendments to Constitution Sec.  1. Amendments to constitution; how proposed, voted upon and ratified; failure of attorney-general to render opinion not to affect validity.  2. Future constitutional conventions; how called; election of delegates; compensation; quorum; submission of amendments; officers; employees; rules; vacancies.  3. Amendments simultaneously submitted by convention and legislature. ARTICLE XX When to Take Effect Sec.  1. Time of taking effect. * Schedule supplied by the Legislative Bill Drafting Commission