NYS Senate Bill Limits Leadership Terms

ALBANY -

Legislature leadership positions would be limited to 12 years, and committee chairs to eight, under a bill which passed the New York State Senate on Tuesday.

The legislation, which is now headed to the Assembly, places a 12-year limit on the tenure of the president pro temper of the Senate, Assembly speaker and both minority leaders of the chambers. It would limit the tenure of any committee chairman to eight years, with the exception of the Rules Committee, which decides how each chamber runs its internal affairs.

“The indefinite term of leadership gives that position great power and influence, which causes some legislators to act unethically in an attempt to ‘climb the ladder’ or make their power as great as a leader,” said the bill’s sponsor, state Sen. Joseph Griffo (R-Rome). “I appreciate and respect the individuals who serve as leaders. But we know that the longer that a person is in power, the less open and transparent our governing becomes.”

Griffo also said he hopes that term limits will bring “fresh ideas and fresh approaches to governing.”

The sponsor in the lower chamber is Assemblywoman Sandy Galef (D-Ossining).