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The Development of Local Discretionary Authority in New York
Joseph F. Zimmerman
Vol. 13, No. 1 (Winter, 1983), pp. 89-103
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3330073
Page Count: 15
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Cities, Local government, Governing laws clause, Property law, Governors, Towns, Rule of law, Property legislation, City halls, Self determination
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Central control of cities was established policy during the colonial period. The policy was continued after independence. By 1839, all cities were allowed to elect their mayors, and a movement commenced to limit the powers of the legislature over local governments. An 1874 constitutional amendment forbade the legislature to enact a special or local bill in seven areas, and the 1894 constitution allowed a city to veto a special city act, subject to repassage by the legislature. Although constitutional amendments in 1923, 1935, 1938, and 1963 broadened local powers, the Court of Appeals in the 1920s and 1930s tended to restrict the powers of local governments. The most important changes in the powers of local governments have occurred since 1980 as the result of advisory opinions, issued by the attorney general and state comptroller, broadening the powers of local governments. Nevertheless, the legislature retains the authority to enact general laws imposing mandates and restraints upon local governments. Such mandates and restraints are responsible for New York being ranked thirty-fifth in terms of discretionary authority granted to local governments.
Publius © 1983 CSF Associates Inc.