OFFICERS AND CIVIL DEPARTMENTS
[Comptroller and attorney-general; payment of state moneys without audit void] Section 1. The comptroller and attorney-general shall be chosen at the same general election as the governor and hold office for the same term, and shall possess the qualifications provided in section 2 of article IV. The legislature shall provide for filling vacancies in the office of comptroller and of attorney-general. No election of a comptroller or an attorney-general shall be had except at the time of electing a governor. The comptroller shall be required: (1) To audit all vouchers before payment and all official accounts; (2) to audit the accrual and collection of all revenues and receipts; and (3) to prescribe such methods of accounting as are necessary for the performance of the foregoing duties. The payment of any money of the state, or of any money under its control, or the refund of any money paid to the state, except upon audit by the comptroller, shall be void, and may be restrained upon the suit of any taxpayer with the consent of the supreme court in appellate division on notice to the attorney-general. In such respect the legislature shall define the powers and duties and may also assign to him or her: (1) supervision of the accounts of any political subdivision of the state; and (2) powers and duties pertaining to or connected with the assessment and taxation of real estate, including determination of ratios which the assessed valuation of taxable real property bears to the full valuation thereof, but not including any of those powers and duties reserved to officers of a county, city, town or village by virtue of sections seven and eight of article nine of this constitution. The legislature shall assign to him or her no administrative duties, excepting such as may be incidental to the performance of these functions, any other provision of this constitution to the contrary notwithstanding. (Amended by Constitutional Convention of 1938 and approved by vote of the people November 8, 1938; further amended by vote of the people November 3, 1953; November 8, 1955; November 6, 2001.)
[Civil departments in the state government] §2. There shall be not more than twenty civil departments in the state government, including those referred to in this constitution. The legislature may by law change the names of the departments referred to in this constitution. (Amended by Constitutional Convention of 1938 and approved by vote of the people November 8, 1938; further amended by vote of the people November 2, 1943; November 3, 1959; November 7, 1961.)
[Assignment of functions] §3. Subject to the limitations contained in this constitution, the legislature may from time to time assign by law new powers and functions to departments, officers, boards, commissions or executive offices of the governor, and increase, modify or diminish their powers and functions. Nothing contained in this article shall prevent the legislature from creating temporary commissions for special purposes or executive offices of the governor and from reducing the number of departments as provided for in this article, by consolidation or otherwise. (Amended by Constitutional Convention of 1938 and approved by vote of the people November 8, 1938; further amended by vote of the people November 7, 1961.)
[Department heads] §4. The head of the department of audit and control shall be the comptroller and of the department of law, the attorney-general. The head of the department of education shall be The Regents of the University of the State of New York, who shall appoint and at pleasure remove a commissioner of education to be the chief administrative officer of the department. The head of the department of agriculture and markets shall be appointed in a manner to be prescribed by law. Except as otherwise provided in this constitution, the heads of all other departments and the members of all boards and commissions, excepting temporary commissions for special purposes, shall be appointed by the governor by and with the advice and consent of the senate and may be removed by the governor, in a manner to be prescribed by law. (Amended by Constitutional Convention of 1938 and approved by vote of the people November 8, 1938; further amended by vote of the people November 7, 1961.)
[Section 5, which abolished certain offices, was repealed by amendment approved by vote of the people November 6, 1962.]
[Civil service appointments and promotions; veterans’ credits] §6. Appointments and promotions in the civil service of the state and all of the civil divisions thereof, including cities and villages, shall be made according to merit and fitness to be ascertained, as far as practicable, by examination which, as far as practicable, shall be competitive; provided, however, that any member of the armed forces of the United States who served therein in time of war, and who, at the time of such member’s appointment or promotion, is a citizen or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States and a resident of this state and is honorably discharged or released under honorable circumstances from such service, shall be entitled to receive five points additional credit in a competitive examination for original appointment and two and one-half points additional credit in an examination for promotion or, if such member was disabled in the actual performance of duty in any war and his or her disability is certified by the United States department of veterans affairs to be in existence at the time of application for appointment or promotion, he or she shall be entitled to receive ten points additional credit in a competitive examination for original appointment and five points additional credit in an examination for promotion. Such additional credit shall be added to the final earned rating of such member after he or she has qualified in an examination and shall be granted only at the time of establishment of an eligible list. No such member shall receive the additional credit granted by this section after he or she has received one appointment, either original entrance or promotion, from an eligible list on which he or she was allowed the additional credit granted by this section, except where a member has been appointed or promoted from an eligible list on which he or she was allowed additional credit for military service and subsequent to such appointment he or she is disabled as provided in this section, such member shall be entitled to ten points additional credit less the number of points of additional credit allowed for the prior appointment. (Formerly §6. Repealed and new section approved by vote of the people November 8, 1949; further amended by vote of the people November 3, 1964; November 3, 1987; November 4, 1997; November 6, 2001; November 4, 2008; November 5, 2013.)
[Membership in retirement systems; benefits not to be diminished nor impaired] §7. (a) After July first, nineteen hundred forty, membership in any pension or retirement system of the state or of a civil division thereof shall be a contractual relationship, the benefits of which shall not be diminished or impaired.
(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a) of this section, the public pension of a public officer, as defined in paragraph (c) of this section, who stands convicted of a felony for which such felony has a direct and actual relationship to the performance of the public officer's existing duties, may be reduced or revoked, following notice and a hearing by an appropriate court, as provided by law. The court determination whether to reduce or revoke such pension shall be based on the consideration of factors including the severity of the crime and the proportionality of a reduction or revocation of such pension to such crime. When a court issues an order to reduce or revoke such pension, the court shall consider and determine specific findings as to the amount of such forfeiture, if any, and whether forfeiture, in whole or in part, would result in undue hardship or other inequity upon any dependent children, spouse or other dependents; and other factors as provided by law. The legislature shall enact legislation to implement this amendment taking into account interests of justice.
(c) For the purposes of paragraph (b) of this section, the term “public officer” shall mean: (i) an official filling an elected office within the state; (ii) a holder of office filled by direct appointment by the governor of this state, either upon or without senate confirmation; (iii) a county, city, town or village administrator, manager or equivalent position; (iv) the head or heads of any state or local government department, division, board, commission, bureau, public benefit corporation, or public authority of this state who are vested with authority, direction and control over such department, division, board, commission, bureau, public benefit corporation or public authority; (v) the chief fiscal officer or treasurer of any municipal corporation or political subdivision of the state; (vi) a judge or justice of the unified court system; and (vii) a legislative, executive, or judicial employee of this state who directly assists in the formulation of legislation, rules, regulations, policy, or judicial decision-making and who is designated as a policymaker as set forth in statute.
(d) Paragraph (b) of this section shall only apply to crimes committed on or after the first of January next succeeding the date upon which the people shall approve and ratify the amendment to the constitution that added this paragraph. (New. Adopted by Constitutional Convention of 1938 and approved by vote of the people November 8, 1938; further amended by vote of the people November 6, 2001; subdivision b, c and d added by vote of the people November 7, 2017.)