Toward a Term-Limits Referendum

ALBANY—A bill requiring a public referendum to extend term limits has cleared the Assembly's election committee. The vote was 11-5.

"While some of us, including myself, are against term limits, the City of New York spoke twice," said Assemblyman Ruben Diaz Jr., the committee chair.

The bill will now advance to the Ways and Means Committee. It would require a citywide referendum in New York by May 1 the first Tuesday in May.

Assemblyman Rob Walker, of Long Island raised concerns about whether the city Board of Elections would be prepared in time. A Diaz staffer assured him the BOE could be ready, especially if the bill is passed soon.

There is no indication it will come to the floor expediently, and still has not been approved by the relevant committees in the State Senate. A spokesman for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Joining Walker in voting against the bill were Assemblymembers Sandra Galef, Joel Miller, Alec Brook-Krasny and Jeffrey Dinowitz.

Dinowitz said he was against term limits, but disagreed with the bill on jurisdictional grounds.

"I don't think the state of New York should be telling the city of New York how to handle this, just like I don't the state of New York should be telling the City of New York how to control its rent laws," he said.

UPDATE: A smart reader points out I misread the legislation. The referendum must be held by the first Tuesday in May, not May 1, and that the breakfast pastries were not taxpayer funded. Toward a Term-Limits Referendum