Brooklyn, NY – Chairman Michael R. Long announced that at a meeting of the State Executive Committee held yesterday (09/13/2017), the Conservative Party recommends the following positions on the three statewide proposals New York State’s citizens will vote on November 7, 2017 and reminds voters to turn the ballot over as the statewide ballot questions are on the back of the ballot.

Vote NO on proposition number 1: Shall there be a Constitutional Convention?

The New York State Conservative Party has been a longtime outspoken organization against the idea of holding a Constitutional Convention. The Convention held in 1967, which Chairman Michael R. Long participated in, was a colossal waste of taxpayers’ money and if one was held now, it would cost taxpayers even more money and be controlled by the same special interests that already have a strong presence in the legislative process.

The fact that two additional proposals are on the ballot, reinforces our position that there is a process in place that allows the NYS Constitution to be amended, when necessary, without the added immense cost of holding a convention.

Vote YES on proposition number 2: Allows for the complete or partial forfeiture of a public officer’s pension if he or she is convicted of a certain type of felony that has a direct and actual relationship to the performance of the public officer’s existing duties.

New York’s Constitution now provides that the benefits of a public pension or retirement system cannot be reduced or impaired. The purpose of the proposed amendment is to allow a court to reduce or revoke the public pension of a public officer who is convicted of a felony that has a direct and actual relationship to the performance of the public officer’s existing duties. A Court could consider many factors, including undue hardship to the family and the seriousness of the crime. If approved, the Legislature will enact law that puts the proposal into effect. All public officials, elected and appointed, would be subject to the new law, including legislative, executive, or judicial employees who directly assist in the formulation of legislation, rules, regulations, policy, or judicial decision-making and who is designated by law as a policy-maker. The proposal would only apply to felony crimes committed after January 1, 2018.

Vote YES on proposition number 3: The proposed amendment will create a land account adding up to 250 acres of forest preserve land eligible for use by towns, villages, and counties that have no viable alternative to using forest preserve land to address specific public health and safety concerns.

New York State’s Constitution protects the State’s forest preserve as wild forest land and generally prohibits the lease, sale, exchange, or taking of any forest preserve land. The Conservative Party has long opposed the state arbitrarily taking land to increase acreage in a forest preserve, however, there are times when such action is necessary. Proposal number 3, creates a land account of up to 250 acres of forest preserve land, that a town, village, or county can apply to the land account if it has no viable alternative to using forest preserve land for specified health and safety purposes. These purposes could include making dangerous roads safer and other safety concerns, for example bridge repairs. It could also make it possible for rural areas to gain access to needed utility lines and safer bike paths.