Many rights are at risk with constitutional convention

Many rights are at risk if there is a constitutional convention. For example, think of all the services provided by the following forms of ‘government’: State (DEC, DOT, group homes, etc.), county (DPW, DMV, Social Services, etc.), town and village, as well as public schools. Many retirees from these jobs stay local once they’ve retired, and contribute to the economy every day. Their pensions are currently protected under Article 5, Section 7 of the New York state Constitution by the following 10 words: the benefits of which shall not be diminished or impaired.

Examples of other things the NYS Constitution protects are the Adirondack and Catskill parks, collective bargaining, workers compensation, civil service standards, and public education, to name a few. We as voters cannot choose or limit which parts of the constitution will be open to change, nor can we decide or propose what those changes would be. That would be left to the delegates who could drag the convention out for years, meanwhile receiving an $80,000 annual salary.

I urge you to protect the pensions of all retired government workers living in upstate New York who well deserve it, by voting no on Nov. 7, to a convention to revise the NYS Constitution. There is no need to spend well-earned taxpayer money to revise the whole constitution; it can always be changed by amending it. In fact, there is an amendment on the ballot to do just that, Ballot Proposition No. 3, to set up a land bank to exchange Forest Preserve land to address specific public health or safety concerns. I urge you to vote YES on that proposition. These propositions will be on the back of the ballot so be sure to turn it over when you vote, so your voice is heard on all the questions.

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