“Last year, about ten percent of legislative seats were vacant as the state legislature negotiated the budget; that’s unacceptable,” said Borelli. “State law allows for special elections so that if a vacancy should occur, communities will continue to have representation. During Gov. Cuomo’s first term, there was no precedent for if or when these elections would occur. We cannot allow the executive branch to select arbitrary dates that could give advantage to one candidate or party over the other. There must be an impartial standard. That’s what my proposed legislation would accomplish.”
Borelli’s first proposed bill would require the governor to declare a vacancy within 30 days of an empty congressional seat due to resignation or death. The second would be a state constitutional change that would require the governor to set special elections for Senate and Assembly seats between 45 and 90 days of vacancy.
Borelli also supports the current lawsuit against the governor, arguing that his failure to set a special election date to fill the congressional vacancy violates the constitutional rights of residents of Staten Island and southern Brooklyn.
“These bills simply seek to achieve through legislation what Commissioner Castorina’s lawsuit seeks to do through existing case law,” Borelli concluded.