Appeared in the Albany Times Union
To The Editor:
Your recent Perspective on the convening of a State constitutional convention “Opportunity for Reform” was a one-sided and uninformative narrative. Mr. Lachman’s opinion that we need a constitutional convention because numerous legislators have been convicted of crimes made me chuckle. Here’s a newsflash for Mr. Lachman – criminal activity is ALREADY illegal. As a matter of fact, a constitutional amendment is on the ballot this November to strip the pensions of public officials convicted of such activity.
Mr. Snider’s argument that we need a constitutional convention because we haven’t had one recently is equally weak. I could facetiously point out that we also haven’t had the plague recently, which is not a good reason to call for its return.
The reality is that a constitutional convention is an extremely expensive undertaking perhaps costing as much as $100 million. There already exists a less expensive, more efficient way to amend the State Constitution, which is working just fine. As a matter of fact, since 2013, there have been eight proposed amendments to the Constitution, with seven being approved by the voters. An unfettered agenda with no time constraints subject to the influence of well financed groups with extremist agendas could endanger many protections New Yorkers consider vital.
Retired Public Employees Association