Statewide elected officials in New York would be limited to two terms and be restricted from earning outside income while in office under a pair of constitutional amendments Gov. Kathy Hochul is set to propose this week in her State of the State address.
The term limits and outside income ban would apply to the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and state comptroller — marking a potential signal change in state government if granted final approval.
"On day one as Governor, I pledged to restore trust in government and I have taken steps every day to deliver the open, ethical governing New Yorkers deserve," Hochul said. "I want people to believe in their government again. With these bold reforms, we will ensure New Yorkers know their leaders work for them and are focused on serving the people of this state."
Hochul is set to deliver her first address to the state Legislature on Wednesday in Albany, outlining her agenda for the new year.
Amendments to the state constitution must be approved two separately elected sessions of the state Legislature before being put before voters in a referendum for final ratification.
The changes are being proposed by Hochul after former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who was elected to three terms, signed a $5.1 million book contract last year that has fallen under scrutiny by state and federal investigators. The state's ethics commission is trying to force Cuomo to return the money he received the book; Cuomo has argued the move is illegal and would challenge it in court.
Attorney General Letitia James has questioned whether the commission followed proper guidelines after it voted to force Cuomo to return the money.
Instituting term limits for state elected officials in New York has been intermittenly proposed in Albany over the years, though never fully embraced by governors. In the past, the proposal has been linked to term limits for lawmakers as well as bans on outside income and campaign finance law changes.