Editorial: Voters should approve proposals on constitutional convention, pensions and parkland - The Buffalo News

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Editorial: Voters should approve proposals on constitutional convention, pensions and parkland

Three state propositions will be decided on Election Day. Voters will find them on the back of their ballots.

Proposal 1

In an off-year election, this is the most important issue facing voters statewide: Should New York hold a constitutional convention to consider changes to the state’s foundational document?

The forces lined up against it are formidable. To be sure, there is room for mischief that could make matters worse in a state government marked by corruption, but the fact is that this is New Yorkers’ best chance to make a better state. Let’s not be timid. Call the convention, then work to ensure that our descendants will thank us for it.

The constitution requires the state to ask this every 20 years. Unions, gay rights groups, the National Rifle Association, supporters and opponents of abortion and others flatly oppose the call. They worry their interests will be harmed.

But what about taxpayers’ interests? Why should it be impossible to make repairs in an overtaxed and corrupt state? Checks are in place to give voters opportunities to block devious or otherwise unwanted amendments.

Ignore the naysayers. We support the call for a constitutional convention. No, it’s not without risk – what is? – but it offers voters a lifeline. We should do this.

Proposal 2

The question is whether state and local elected officials convicted of felonies related to their public offices should forfeit all or part of their pensions. Is there any doubt?

A parade of public officials have been convicted of serious crimes in recent years, but have been able to collect publicly funded pensions, anyway. This proposition will put a stop to that and give the crooks who remain in government reason to think twice. Vote yes.

Proposal 3

This is a valuable proposal that corrects a constitutional glitch regarding the Adirondack and Catskill parks. As it stands, critical infrastructure projects that affect the parks require a constitutional amendment. This proposal would ease that rule by creating a land bank to allow land swaps when there is no practical alternative to using forest preserve land for specific issues of safety or public health. It is broadly supported and deserves voters’ approval.

Sunday: Sheriff and county clerk

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