BUFFALO, NY - Too often we are seeing New York State lawmakers in the news for breaking laws instead of passing law.
A new Siena College Research poll revealed an 84 percent to 14 percent margin in support of stripping pension payments from state legislators convicted of crimes related to their public service.
Pollster Steven Greenberg said "I think it's clear that voters strongly believe that if a legislator is convicted of a crime related to his or her public service, that they ought not receive the benefit of a pension that was derived from that legislator's actions."
89 percent of New Yorkers said corruption in state government in Albany is a serious problem.
In 2011, a law was enacted where any new state lawmaker convicted of a crime related to their public service would lose their pension.
On election day in 2017, voters in New York State will be asked: "Shall there be a convention to revise the constitution and amend the same?" It's a a question that appears only every 20 years.
Retired Canisius College Political Science professor Peter Galie is an expert on the state constitution, he said "right now the constitution protects pensions of all public workers in New York. It was a provision that was put in there during the last convention in 1938, held during the new deal."
Every single time voters were given a chance to stage a constitutional convention, they voted no. The last time that was on the ballot was in 1997.
According to Galie, a change can come either through a legislative amendment or an amendment to the constitution.
When asked why lawmakers are reluctant, Galie said "it affects the legislature itself and they are very reluctant to change anything that involves their institutional status."
You can find the contact information for local state Senators and Assembly Members below:
Local NY State Senators:
- Patrick M. Gallivan (R, C, IP) 59TH SENATE DISTRICT
- Timothy M. Kennedy (D, IP, WF) 63RD SENATE DISTRICT
- Robert G. Ortt (D, C, IND) 62ND SENATE DISTRICT
- Marc Panepinto (D) 60TH SENATE DISTRICT
- Michael H. Ranzenhofer (R, C, IP) 61ST SENATE DISTRICT
- Catharine Young (R, C, IP) 57TH SENATE DISTRICT
Local NY State Assembly Members:
- John D. Ceretto, District 145
- Jane L. Corwin, District 144
- David DiPietro, District 147
- Joseph M. Giglio, District 148
- Stephen Hawley, District 139
- Michael P. Kearns, District 142
- Brian M. Kolb, District 131
- Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes, District 141
- Sean Ryan, District 149
- Robin Schimminger, District 140
- Raymond Walter, District 146
- Angela M. Wozniak, District 143