financial support of the legislature. Cuomo hoped, in vain, for an early legislative call for a convention prior to the every-twenty-year requirement date of 1997. This commission has been charged with examining the process of constitutional change as well as the substantive issues to be considered at a possible convention in 1999. By early 1995 the Temporary Commission held hearings throughout the state, issuing a briefing book, an interim report, and a periodic newsletter (Constitutional Matters). It is the most extensive attempt thus far in the state's history to provide for and stimulate public debate on the question of constitutional reform. Unlike previous commissions which focused primarily on providing information for delegates at the convention, the Cuomo Commission directed its efforts as much at educating the public as at providing background for delegates at any future conventions. What impact this approach will have remains to be seen, but if voters in 1997 reject the call for a convention, they will do so on a more informed and rational basis than they did in 1977.
A second option is to appoint a constitutional commission similar to the ones appointed in 1890 and 1920. Its creation would require legislative action and approval of all recommendations, but a prestigious commission, reporting well thought-out proposals for which a consensus has been achieved, would make it difficult for the legislature to ignore its recommendations, and would improve measurably the chances of success with the electorate. 67