Gov. Hochul Aims to Limit New York Governors and Other Statewide Elected Offices to Two Four-Year Terms

Gov. Hochul Aims to Limit New York Governors and Other Statewide Elected Offices to Two Four-Year Terms

By Yehudit Garmaise

Gov. Kathy Hochul, in her Wednesday State of the State address, the most important speech of her leadership so far, is expected to propose a limit of two four-year terms on statewide elected officials, such as governors, lieutenant governors, attorneys general, and comptrollers, state officials told the New York Times.

Hochul’s move, which would be a significant change, could further distance herself from her disgraced predecessor, former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who ruled the state with an iron-fist, some say with increasing degrees of corruption, for more than 10 years.

Hochul’s proposal of term-limits would require a constitutional amendment that would need approval from both the state legislature and voters, but the proposal would significantly limit the power of the highest office in New York.

Currently New York, where recent governors have served for as long as 14 years, is one of only approximately a dozen states without term limits.

Hochul’s proposal also could prevent previously accepted practices of elected officials, such as receiving outside income, except in cases where government officials are teaching others. 

One problematic example of elected officials receiving outside income, was the $5.1 million Cuomo was supposed to receive for his “leadership memoir.” Although recent efforts have stalled, a state ethics board has ordered the former governor to return his earnings to the state.

Hochul’s term-limits proposal could help her to cast herself in the upcoming gubernatorial election, no-nonsense, fresh thinker, who takes care to fight against the often-proved 1887 quote by Lord Acton that “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

“I want people to believe in their government again,” said Hochul, who added that she wants to “ensure New Yorkers know their leaders work for them and are focused on serving the people of this state.”

Photo by: Flickr

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