New York Constitutional Convention

Under New York’s constitution, every twenty years voters get an opportunity to decide if they wish to overhaul — or tinker with — their state constitution. The below "roadmap" offers a basic view on how that process works. You can hover your cursor over each number to get more detail on each of the "stops" along the way to "Conventionland."

In addition to getting more information by clicking on numbers on the game board, please take a look at our short Guide to the New York State Convention Process.

We offer this a an educational service to all New Yorkers.


Stop #1: Every 20 years, the New York State Constitution requires that the public decide if it wants to update its constitution. The next vote is November 2017. Stop #2: Will the process for selecting delegates stay the same? Reformers want there to be a legislative debate over the rules for electing delegates and the openness requirements for the convention’s proceedings in advance of the public vote. Knowing the ground rules for delegate selection will be a factor for many New Yorkers in how they decide to cast their votes on the convention question. Stop #3: The public votes on whether to hold a convention. If the majority of votes cast on the convention question are “yes,” then the process continues. If the majority votes down a convention, no convention happens and the “road” to a convention ends. Stop #4: Voters choose who they want to be delegates at the convention. At the next general election following the voters’ approval to convene a convention (November 2018), voters choose three (3) delegates from each State Senate District (there are 63 Senate districts), and fifteen (15) are elected statewide. Thus, the convention would consist of a total of 204 delegates. Anyone who is eligible to vote can run for delegate. The processes for getting on the ballot and running a campaign are the same as those running for any other state office. Split-ticket voting for the 15 statewide delegates has historically been extremely difficult. Stop #5:  The convention, consisting of its 204 delegates, begins its deliberations the first Tuesday of April 2019 and continues until work is completed. Stop #6: As the convention begins, the delegates will likely organize themselves to consider changes to the Constitution, such as creating committees to examine specific areas of the constitution (e.g., environmental policies). Stop #7: The convention begins to discuss changes.   Anything can be on the agenda since it is not possible to limit the scope of a convention. Stop #8: The delegates decide on which changes they agree should be part of a new Constitution.  A key decision will be whether the proposed changes are voted on as one package or as separate individual amendments. Stop #9: Whatever changes emerge from the convention are then sent to the voters for final approval. New Yorkers go to the polls the following November (2019 at the earliest) to approve or reject the changes. Stop #10: Any changes that are approved in a statewide referendum go into effect January 1st in the year after the vote is held.   If rejected, the Constitution does not change.
State senators call on MTA to abide by open meeting laws when weighing capital projects  (Daily News, August 21, 2019)
Blair Horner discusses Albany politics on The Capitol Connection  (WAMC, August 15, 2019)
Will Albany Strengthen Independent Oversight Of Government Contracting?  (WAMC, August 12, 2019)
NYC's slowest bus goes only 4.2 mph, which is slower than a manatee  (New York Post, July 23, 2019)
Pokey Awards: This Staten Island bus averages less than 8 mph  (Staten Island Live, July 23, 2019)
As the power has flipped to Democrats in State Senate, so follows the money  (The Buffalo News, Jul 17, 2019)
Climate change bill goes to Gov. Cuomo's desk  (Albany Times Union, July 16, 2019)
Cuomo Releases Campaign Finances  (Spectrum News, July 16, 2019)
NYS Department of Health limiting chemicals in water  (WIVB, July 10, 2019)
State health commissioner accepts recommendations for maximum contaminant levels in drinking water  (Mid-Hudson News, July 9, 2019)
NY May Have Just Taken A Step Toward Reform  (WAMC, July 8, 2019)
Blair Horner discusses the 2019 Legislative session on The Capitol Connection  (WAMC, July 4, 2019)
NYPIRG's Liz Moran reviews how environmental issues fared in the recent New York State Legislative session  (The Sanctuary for Independent Media, June 26, 2019)
Blair Horner discusses the 2019 legislative session  (The Sanctuary for Independent Media, June 24, 2019)
Albany 2019: Winners and losers in a progressive session  (Newsday, June 22, 2019)
Albany Gets Ready To Wrap Up The 2019 Legislative Session  (WAMC, June 17, 2019)
NY State's Ambitious New Climate Change Legislation: 'Really Major' Or 'Partial Victory'?  (Gothamist, June 19th, 2019)
Albany's 'big ugly' provides political cover, but has some benefits  (Newsday, June 15, 2019)
NYPIRG: 22 End-Of-Session Fundraisers Being Held  (Spectrum News, June 14, 2019)
Water District Holds Informational Session  (Port Washington News, June 14, 2019)
News Archive
NYPIRG statement on proposed PFOA, PFOS, 1,4-dioxane MCLs
Tale of the Tape: NYPIRG’s 2019 Legislative Review
Albany Money Machine 2019
Civic Organizations Release 50-state Review of States' Ethics Boards
Release: Albany Money Machine 2019
NYPIRG Reviews Governor, Senate and Assembly Budget Plans on Key Issues
NYPIRG Statement on H.R. 1 Passage and Calls for State Law for Small Donor Public Financing of Campaigns
New York's Highest-in-the-Nation Contribution Limits Go Up
Donors Can Now Contribute Nearly $70,000 to Governor
Governor's Budget Responds to New Yorkers' "Pent-Up Demands" For Action
NYPIRG and civic groups urge legislative reforms
NYPIRG and coalition urge approval of new ethics reform plan
Despite New Limits on Legislators' "Moonlighting" In Pay Raise Deal, Albany's Reform Agenda Is Far from Finished
Report: Outside Income and Conflict of Interest in Albany
State Lawmakers Ranked Third Highest Paid in the Nation, Overwhelming Number of State Lawmakers Report No, or Little, Outside Income
NYPIRG's 2018 Legislative Review
As End of Legislative Session Draws Near, NYPIRG and Other Civic Organizations Call for Overhaul of Ethics Enforcement to Restore Public Trust in Government
New York's leading civic organizations call for action to respond to the state's corruption crises.
Roadmap to Reform
NYPIRG and other leading civic organizations respond to the important ethics issues raised during the Joseph Percoco trial, which went to the jury today.
News Release: As Percoco trial begins, Reformers call for strong anti-corruption measures
Reports & Features Archive