The 1894 Constitution introduced a new concept for transparency that required a 3 day waiting requirement on legislation before final passage in order to secure public comment and prevent last-minute amendments or hasty and careless legislation.  In order to provide for rapid legislation in the face of a public emergency an exception was included for those instances where the Governor certified the necessity of immediate passage.

However, based on the ongoing abuse of the message of necessity the Constitutional Convention of 1915 proposed an outright ban though it was unfortunately defeated by the electorate.

The Constitutional Convention of 1938, which was adopted, required the inclusion of “facts [that] necessitate an immediate vote” though this amendment has failed to stem the abuses it sought to address.

Unfortunately, upon judicial review in 1972-3 and again in 2005-6, challenges to the abuse of the message of necessity have failed with the judiciary’s declaration that not only is the message of unassailable but that it is not subject to judicial review.

In 2014, New York State passed a constitutional amendment that enabled bills to be distributed electronically instead of print-only versions. However, this amendment did not change the nature of the Message of Necessity or in any way limit its potential abuse.

Here’s an example of the increasing use of Measures of Necessity, a bill on redistricting, which was clearly no emergency: