Governor Kathy Hochul’s 2022 State of the State message calls for a two-term limit for New York’s four top offices – governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, and comptroller.
Her plan tracks a similar call from the state’s likely Republican candidate for governor in 2022, Long Island Congressman Lee Zeldin. Rep. Zeldin’s plan, announced December 1, 2021, would affect only the governor’s office.
Any term limit proposal would require an amendment to the state’s constitution — a lengthy process that demands approval from two separate sessions of the state Legislature, and then from voters.
Governor Hochul also seeks to bar outside income for statewide elected officials while serving in office, unless the income is derived from teaching purposes.
“I want people to believe in their government again,” Governor Hochul said. “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.”
In his December announcement, Rep. Zeldin said, “I have always believed that our founding fathers envisioned a system of citizen elected leaders who would bring their unique new ideas, experience and vision to government and then move on. As governor, I would term-limit myself to two terms regardless of whether the state legislature takes this action.”
While New York law imposes no limit on the number of terms a statewide elected official or a state legislator can hold, some municipalities throughout the state have enacted local term-limit ordinances. New York City, for example, caps citywide officials and City Council members to two terms in their respective offices.