Senate passes Griffo’s bill requiring term limits for Senate and Assembly leaders

Senate’s current rules limiting leaders and committee chairs to 8-year terms would be expanded to full Legislature State Senator Joseph Griffo announced today that the New York State Senate has once again passed legislation he sponsored that would create eight-year term limits for leadership positions in the Senate and Assembly.

In the spirit of government reform, Griffo’s bill – S1229 – would build upon the voluntary term limits that are already in place in Senate rules, which limits the number of years a member can serve as a leader or committee chair, and further apply these limits to both bodies of the full State Legislature.

“New ideas and new perspectives will always inject new energy into our legislative efforts, and that’s why I firmly believe term limits on our leadership positions will help to fundamentally change the culture of Albany,” said Griffo. “We already

lead by example by imposing our own rules in the Senate on term limits for leaders and committee chairs, but my proposed law would go even further by applying these term limits to all leaders in the full Legislature.

“If approved, these reforms would give more members in both the Senate and the Assembly the opportunity to play an active role in the leadership of our governing bodies. By taking this positive step toward accountability in Albany, I believe we are holding ourselves to a higher standard and it is my hope that the Assembly will follow our lead in truly transforming state government for the better.”

Senator Majority Leader John J. Flanagan supports reform efforts.

“For years the Senate has adopted voluntary term limits for leaders and committee chairs because it is an important government reform that promotes accountability and stability,” Flanagan said. “I am hopeful that the Assembly will join us in enacting this measure into law.”

Griffo’s bill would limit the tenure of the temporary president of the Senate, speaker of the Assembly, and minority leaders of both houses to eight years. Legislative committee chairs would also be limited to serving no more than eight consecutive years.

The Senate first voluntarily implemented leadership term limits in 2009 as part of the rules governing the Senate. Adopting the measures approved in the Senate would make them permanent in law for both the Senate and Assembly.

The bill will be sent to the Assembly, where it is sponsored by Assemblywoman Sandy Galef, D-Ossining (A6109).

“This legislation is important as it involves more Assembly Members and Senators in key positions of state government,” Galef said. “Rotating leadership assignments brings new views and fresh ideas to the decision-making process.”

Griffo is also sponsoring another bill in the Senate – S1228 – that would put term limits on all elected state officials, including the governor, attorney general, comptroller and state legislators.

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