Making Democracy Work


The Local Program Positions for the LWVNYS well as the LWVNYS links and blog.


May has been a busy month for the League. We have been ramping up our advocacy efforts and our hard work is finally paying off! This month the Assembly passed several of our priority bills: Single Payer, early voting, no-excuse absentee voting, single June primary, and legislation to include e-cigarettes under the Clean Indoor Air Act. We have been working hard on these issues and it's nice to see the Assembly responding to our efforts.

This month, the Assembly passed the New York Health Act which would implement a single payer health care system in New York. This is not the first time the bill has passed in the Assembly but each year the bill stalls in the Senate. Currently the Senate version of this legislation has 30 sponsors including members of the Independent Democratic Conference. We have created an advocacy toolkit that is available at which highlights which members we should be targeting in the Health Committee where the bill has stalled. The toolkit includes contacts for Senators, a phone script, key talking points, and sample tweets.

Jennifer Wilson, Director of Program and Policy,


The League of Women Voters of New York State is outraged that the budget deal touted by the Governor and the legislature once again failed to implement any reforms to make voting easier and more accessible. The League has fought for voting reform as well as anti-corruption measures for more than three decades. Our state continues to rank near the bottom in terms of voter turnout and participation. In 2016, lines at the polls left New Yorkers waiting for hours to cast their ballot and the names of voters in New York City were wrongly purged from voter rolls. How long must the people wait until the legislature acts on common sense voting reforms?

Governor Cuomo proposed two reforms that would have made voting more accessible. Automatic voter registration and early voting would have reduced lines on Election Day and empowered voters to cast their ballot when it is most convenient. But these proposed reforms were once again left behind while the legislature adopted the budget. The legislature needs to act and pass comprehensive voting reforms during this legislative session. In this 100th anniversary year of women getting the right to vote in New York, it is time to bring our state into the twenty- first century and pass early voting and automatic voter registration.

Summary of Public Policy Positions LWVNYS 2016

Bold italics are changes recommended by the Schenectady League for 2017-2018
of measures to protect, extend and encourage the use of the franchise, including paperless and Election Day registration, no-excuse absentee and in-person early voting. Restore integrity to the election process -- specifically support for uniformity in election laws and procedures in their implementation and enforcement; promote measures that ensure the integrity of all ballots; support ballot access and fair campaign practices.
Support comprehensive campaign finance reform, including public financing of campaigns.
Opposition to term limits for members of the NYS Legislature.
Opposition to term limits for NYS statewide elected officials.
Support for continuation of Fusion Voting in New York State whether or not Wilson-Pakula is repealed.
Requested clarification of fusion voting

of citizen rights, including reproductive rights.
Support of effective regulation of lobbying and ethics.
Support of standards to ensure equitable representation in the State legislature and Congress.
Support of improved measures to provide representation for legislative districts in case of a vacancy.
Support of responsive and responsible legislative processes which increase the role of the individual member and the committee system.
Support of procedural reforms in the constitutional convention process to promote openness and nonpartisanship as positive factors in deciding on support for a constitutional convention.
Support of the consolidation of government/shared services when it promotes effective and efficient operation of government.

Support of measures to assure a basic level of quality physical and mental health care, including regulatory incentives to encourage development of cost-effective alternative methods of delivery; funding for health promotion and disease prevention programs; provisions for effective citizen participation in health policy decisions.
Support of measures that enable individuals to assume responsibility for their own health and to participate in decisions, including extraordinary life-extending procedures and options for end of life.
Support for uniform eligibility and coverage of basic health care costs through public financing with single payer concept as an acceptable approach to implementing League positions on equitable access and cost containment.

Support of a unified state court system with improved provisions for judicial selection.
Support of statewide guidelines for law enforcement at all levels to prevent racial and economic profiling.
Support of measures to improve pretrial procedures in the criminal courts.
Support of measures to promote a fair and efficient jury system.
Support the rights of indigent defendants to representation at public expense.
Support of alternatives to incarceration.
Opposition to the death penalty, with life without parole as the primary alternative.
Support of legislation to raise the age of adult criminal responsibility to 18 years old.

for protection and management of New York's natural resources in the public interest, including energy conservation and energy options from renewable sources.
Support for measures to achieve watershed protection including limiting pesticide use and applying Best Management Practices.
Support for a state-established, intergovernmental system for land resource management.
Support for a proactive role for New York State in regional land use planning, containing urban sprawl and protecting sensitive areas.
Support of reconditioning of the New York State Erie/Barge Canal System and its development for recreational uses.
Support for preserving and enhancing the environmental integrity and quality of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Ecosystem.

for equality of opportunity, meeting basic human needs, childcare, energy-efficient and environmentally sound public transit, and gun control.
Support measures to meet the needs for affordable and accessible housing through use of state funds and incentives to localities
Support of a livable wage for all localities in New York State.

Support reforms for greater equity in education financing (K-12) for both pupils and taxpayers.
Support raising funds to provide New York's children with a sound basic education through increases in the New York State personal income tax, implemented in a progressive fashion.
Support for the replacement of the existing local residential property tax relief programs in which relief goes to all with programs based on need, with annual cost of living adjustment.
Oppose in principle the use of public funds to support non-public schools (K-12).
Oppose any increase in the maximum number of charter schools without improvements to the Charter School Act.
Support the funding of public higher education and the existing formula for financing the community system, 1/3 tuition, 1/3 state aid, and 1/3 county support.
Support a uniform equitable assessment and property tax system.
Support of measures to provide for openness and accountability in the operation of the New York State public authority system.
Support of a timely and responsive state budget.
Requested study of whether property tax cap is an appropriate way to fund government.

Support of measures that hold marriage to be an economic partnership with a presumption of equality between the spouses.
Opposition to measures that contain a presumption of joint custody of the children.
Support for equity in employment laws and practices and equal pay for jobs of comparable worth.
Support of measures to reduce the incidence and effects of domestic violence.

LWV State Policy Positions & LWV Local Program Positions

NYS Public Policy Positions

  1. Election Law: discussion on new position for support of Fusion Voting in NYS; some members in favor of discontinuing fusion voting entirely as very few states observe this; request for clarification of this new position
  2. Constitutional Convention Position: agreement
  3. Government: discussion on gerrymandering (what is the LWV US position on re-districting?); request for review of LWVUS position on this as it does not seem to appear in State position
  4. Health Care: discussion on second position about adding options to end of life care; request to add "options for end of life"; statement to read "...including life-extending procedures and options for end of life."
  5. Judicial: agreement
  6. Natural Resources: discussion of fluoride in water and whether it is necessary; no request for action
  7. Social: agreement
  8. State Finances: discussion of current 2% tax cap and whether it is an adequate way to fund schools; it can create undue burden on school budgets; request to look at whether a tax cap is an appropriate way to fund government
  9. Women's Issues: agreement

About the LWVNYS Education Foundation (EF)

Throughout its history the Foundation has produced and distributed nonpartisan, educational materials; funded activities which promote citizen responsibility in the democratic process; and facilitated communication between citizens and their government officials. It has a strong commitment to young people and to the promise of the continued success of democracy.

The League of Women Voters of New York State Education Foundation (LWVNYSEF) was established in 1950 as the Foundation for Citizen Education (FCE) to support the educational activities of the League of Women Voters of New York State. It is incorporated under the Not-for-Profit Corporation Law of New York and is classified as a public educational charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Foundation is dedicated exclusively to the support and promotion of the educational programs of the League of Women Voters in New York State.

Give to LWVNYS Education Foundation Make a tax-deductible contribution to the Education Foundation using your credit card. If you prefer to write a check, please make them payable to the LWVNYS Education Foundation. If you have any questions, feel free to call the state League office directly at 518-465-4162.

May 2017 State Voter

The May 2017 State Voter is now available here

League of Women Voters of New York State

Capitol Beat Blog

The League of Women Voters of NYS is pleased to announce the return of "Capitol Beat." This informative and entertaining column, written by the LWVNYS Legislative Director Barbara Bartoletti will contain legislative updates about League issues, as well as political gossip. We will also outline the budget and of course, will chronicle the always-lively end of session. We have created a blog page for "Capitol Beat" on our League website, and we welcome your comments posted on this blog page. We have also linked the Legislative Calendar so you have all the dates of the legislative session. So, check out the blog and continue to watch it for updates - we hope to keep it lively and current. Get all the latest legislative info right on our website and blog!