New York State Constitutional Conventions and Constitutional History

Black-and-white photo of the NYS Capitol Building, 1967.
The NY Capitol in Albany, from the
Proceedings of the 1967 Constitutional
Convention.

The Constitutional History of New York: This five-volume set by Charles Z. Lincoln, published in 1905, is a fundamental resource for NYS constitutional history from the beginning of the colonial period to 1905. Volume 1 includes the text of the first Constitution of New York (1777), the second Constitution of New York (1821), and the third Constitution of New York (1846). Volume 4 includes the text of the Constitution of the State of New York as revised in 1894 with the amendments of 1899, 1901 and 1905. Volume 5 includes a general index, index of persons and table of cases, as well as, tables of statutes held to be constitutional and unconstitutional. Charles Lincoln was a member of the New York Constitutional Convention of 1894 and chairman of the Statutory Revision Commission from 1895 -1900.

Constitutional Convention of 1938

New York State Constitutional Convention Committee. [Reports] 1938: The New York State Constitutional Convention Committee was established by Governor Lehman as "an unofficial committee, non-partisan and non-political in character and in motive, to undertake and direct the preparation and publication of accurate, thorough, and … impartial factual studies on the important phases of government, certain to be considered at the Constitutional Convention." The reports of the Constitutional Committee, commonly known as the Poletti Report, were prepared prior to the New York State Constitutional Convention of 1938 and printed as a series of twelve volumes. These volumes were intended to serve as research and background information for the delegates of the Convention so that the delegates were prepared "to discharge their duties wisely, deliberately and without waste of time and money."

Volumes 1-5 are general reference volumes and were prepared by staff of the Law Revision Commission, the research staff of the NYS Commission on the Revision of the Tax Laws and others. Volumes 6-11 are the studies and reports of the six sub-committees of the Constitutional Convention Committee. The volumes are:

  • volume 1: New York State Constitution annotated;
  • volume 2: Amendments proposed to New York Constitution, 1895-1937;
  • volume 3: Constitutions of the states and United States;
  • volume 4: State and local government in New York;
  • volume 5: New York City government: functions and problems;
  • volume 6: Problems relating to Bill of Rights and general welfare;
  • volume 7: Problems relating to legislative organization and powers;
  • volume 8: Problems relating to executive administration and powers;
  • volume 9: Problems relating to judicial administration and organization;
  • volume 10: Problems relating to taxation and finance;
  • volume 11: Problems relating to home rule and local government and
  • volume 12: General Index.

Constitutional Convention of 1967

The New York State Constitutional Convention of 1967 was held in Albany from April 4 - September 26, 1967. The proposed Constitution was submitted to the voters on November 7, 1967 at a general election. All of the 1967 Convention's proposals were rejected by the people. The State Library has digitized the following official publications of the 1967 Convention:

The 1967 Convention was the last State Constitutional Convention held in New York State to date. New Yorkers voted against calling a constitutional convention in 1977 and 1997.

 

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Last Updated: October 3, 2012/cj