IN THE QUARTER CENTURY following the 1967 convention, 4,437 constitutional amendments were proposed, of which sixty-five amendments were passed by the legislature. 1 Forty-three (66%) were successful (see Table IV-A). Over half (24) derived from four articles: VI (judiciary), VII (state finance), VIII (local finance), and XIV (conservation). The most significant changes occurred in the judicial article. Eight amendments modified the selection process for judges on the Court of Appeals, established a centralized system of court administration, streamlined procedures for disciplining judges, and instituted a single state-wide court budget.
The overwhelming number of amendments to the state and local finance articles continued the process of liberalizing tax and debt limits and expanded the bonding power of public benefit corporations such as the Job Development Authority. Two amendments afforded nonprofit and religious organizations more latitude in operating games of chance. However, an equal rights amendment was defeated in 1975 by nearly half a million votes. Four of the six amendments to the conservation article involved land exchanges and authorization to construct a ski trail. Of greater import was a 1969 amendment making it the public policy of the state to conserve, improve, and protect natural resources and the quality of the environment.
Two of the three amendments to the Bill of Rights concerned gambling. A 1975 amendment broadened the range of games of chance that religious, charitible, and certain nonprofit organizations were permitted to operate, to include raffles, roulette, etc. 2 Provisions intended to prevent infiltration of organized crime remained unchanged (Sec. 9).