New York Consolidated Laws, Municipal Home Rule Law - MHR § 37. Provisions for adoption of city charter amendments or new city charters initiated by petition

1. A local law amending a city charter (however extensively) or providing a new city charter, also may be adopted in accordance with the provisions of this section.

2. Qualified electors of a city, in number equal to at least ten per centum of the total number of valid votes cast for governor in such city at the last gubernatorial election, or to thirty thousand, whichever is less, may file in the office of the city clerk a petition for the submission to the electors of the city of such a proposed local law to be set forth in full in the petition.  Qualified electors shall be deemed for this purpose to be voters of the city who were registered and qualified to vote in such city at the last general election preceding the filing of the petition.

3. Such local law shall set forth the new matter to be added to the charter either in italics or underlined and the matter to be deleted therefrom either in brackets or with lines drawn through it, and after adoption the matter so set forth in italics or underlined may be set forth in the charter in ordinary type, and the matter in brackets or with lines through it may be omitted;  but failure so to set forth any provision of the charter which is in fact superseded shall not invalidate the amendment or new charter or any portion thereof.

4. Such a local law may amend, repeal or supersede any local law inconsistent with the charter amendment or new charter proposed thereby or any inconsistent provision of a state statute which may be amended by local law, in which event it shall specify the chapter number and year of enactment, sections, subsections or other parts of each statute or local law so affected.  Such a local law also may contain provisions as described in paragraph (a) of subdivision four   1 of section thirty-six of this chapter.

5. Such petition shall conform to the provisions of section twenty-four of this chapter in relation to petitions.  It shall be examined and reported on by the city clerk as prescribed therein, and objections thereto shall be disposed of by the supreme court as prescribed by such section.  In addition, the city clerk, at the same time that he transmits to the legislative body his certificate that the petition complies or does not comply with all the requirements of law, shall transmit a copy of such certificate to the person by whom the petition was filed and, if he certifies that the petition does not comply with all the requirements, shall state in such certificate specifically in what respects it fails to comply.  If he shall certify that there is an insufficient number of valid signatures, he shall make available to the legislative body a statement as to the number of signatures found to be invalid and the reasons for such invalidity, and shall make the same information available to the person by whom the petition was filed and make it, together with the petition and his notations of rulings thereon or relative thereto, a matter of public record in his office.  A finding by the city clerk that a petition does not comply with all the requirements of law may be contested in a proceeding in the supreme court.

6. Whether or not he finds the petition sufficient, the city clerk shall transmit such proposed local law forthwith to the legislative body.  If the proposed local law is such that a mandatory referendum is not required for its adoption under the provisions of this chapter or of the city charter, such legislative body may adopt it as its own act pursuant to article three of this chapter.  If a mandatory referendum is required, the legislative body may submit it to the electors of the city at the next general election occurring at least sixty days after the legislative body votes to submit it.

7. If, however, such a petition meets all the requirements of law and during a period of two months immediately following the filing thereof such legislative body shall fail so to adopt such local law without change or to submit it without change to the electors of the city as aforesaid, an additional petition filed with the city clerk at least two months and not more than four months after the filing of the original petition and signed at any time prior to its filing by qualified electors who did not sign the original petition, equal in number to at least five per centum of the total number of votes cast for governor in such city at the last gubernatorial election, or to fifteen thousand, whichever is less, may require the submission of the local law at the next general election held not less than sixty days after the filing of such additional petition.

8. Such an additional petition shall conform to the requirements of subdivision five for an original petition and shall be dealt with by the city clerk and by the supreme court in the same manner as an original petition except that the city clerk shall submit his certificate as to its sufficiency within twenty days after it is filed with him.

9. When so required by the filing of such an additional petition complying with all the requirements of law, the city clerk shall transmit such proposed local law in the form in which it is to be submitted to the election officers charged with the duty of publishing the notice of such election, and the legislative body shall provide for suitable publication thereof and publicity thereon for the information of interested voters.  If there be more than one such proposed local law to be voted upon at such election, each such proposed local law shall be separately and consecutively numbered.

10. Any political committee organized for the purpose of supporting or opposing any charter amendment or new charter submitted to the voters under the provisions of this section shall have the same rights as a political party to name watchers and challengers to serve at the election at which the question is submitted.

11. No such petition for a proposed local law requiring the expenditure of money shall be certified as sufficient by the city clerk or become effective for the purposes of this section unless there shall be submitted, as a part of such proposed local law, a plan to provide moneys and revenues sufficient to meet such proposed expenditures.  This restriction shall not prevent the submission of a local law to adopt a new charter or to reorganize the functions of city government, or a part thereof, relying partly or solely on normal budgetary procedures to provide the necessary moneys to meet the expenses of city government under such reorganization, whether or not such reorganization includes the creation of new offices, provided only that such reorganization shall not require specific salaries or the expenditure of specific sums of money not theretofore required.

12. No charter amendment or new charter submitted under the provisions of this section which requires the expenditure of money shall become effective with respect to such expenditure before the beginning of the first fiscal year for which a city budget is prepared and adopted after the adoption of the amendment or new charter.

13. If any such proposed local law receives the affirmative vote of a majority of the qualified electors of such city voting thereon, it shall become operative as prescribed therein, except that in case of conflict between provisions of two or more local laws adopted at the same election the local law receiving the largest number of affirmative votes shall prevail to the extent of such conflict.

1 Now subd. 5, par. (a) of section thirty-six.

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