History: A Guide to Sources
The New York Constitutions of 1777, 1821, 1846, and 1894, including amendments, can be found in volume five of Francis Thorpe, ed., The Federal and State Constitutions, Colonial Charters and other Organic Laws ( Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1909), 7 vols.; William Swindler, ed., Sources and Documents of the United States Constitutions (Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.: Oceana Publications, 1978), 10 vols. Volume 7 contains the 1777, 1821, and 1846 Constitutions, as above, as well as the 1897 Constitution and the proposed constitution drafted by the 1967 convention. The text of the current constitution can be found in The Constitution of the State of New York Amended to 1992. This publication is updated periodically by the New York Secretary of State and is available from that office. The current constitution, annotated clause by clause, can be found in McKinney's Consolidated Laws of New York, Book 2 as supplemented, and New York Consolidated Law Service [CLS], Volume 42-42A. All proposed amendments to the constitutions are printed in the Session Laws of New York, published annually. The New York Times reports on and summarizes proposed amendments before the November general elections at which such amendments are voted upon. Robert Allan Carter New York State Constitution: Sources of Legislative Intent (Littleton, Colo.: Fred B. Rothman & Co., 1988) provides a list of sources by section for the constitution. It is an excellent research tool for locating convention debates, legislative documents, commission reports, and governor's papers pertaining to the various sections of the document. Peter J. Galie's The New York State Constitution: A Reference Guide (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1991) provides explanatory material and historical background for each article of the current constitution.
There are a number of sources for the meaning and intent of the constitutional provisions. In addition to the constitutional convention debates noted below and the debates on amendments proposed by the