Voters on Tuesday resoundingly defeated a ballot question which, if approved, would have scheduled a convention in 2019.

Unions, environmental groups, Planned Parenthood and officials from both major political parties had urged opposition. They warned that deep-pocketed special interests could use a convention to undermine existing constitutional rights and noted that the constitution can already be amended through voter referendum.

New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento said working men and women "understood what was at stake."

"Our constitution has some of the strongest worker protections in the country, including the right to collectively bargain, unemployment insurance, workers' compensation," Cilento said. "... All of those rights will continue to be protected for the working men and women of this great state."

Supporters argued a convention would provide a chance to address chronic corruption and porous campaign finance rules while strengthening protections for education, health care and the environment.

The question of a constitutional convention is automatically put on the ballot every 20 years. The last convention was held in 1967.

If the question had passed, voters would have later picked delegates for the convention. Any recommended changes to the state's governing document would have had to be ratified by a statewide vote.

Voters approved a proposed constitutional amendment allowing judges to strip the pensions of corrupt officials, no matter when they were elected.

A 2011 law allowed judges to revoke or reduce pensions of crooked lawmakers, but it didn't apply to sitting lawmakers at the time. A constitutional amendment was needed to cover all lawmakers, regardless of when they were elected. This year's ballot question, if approved, will close that loophole.

More than 30 lawmakers have left office facing allegations of corruption or misconduct since 2000.

New York voters also approved a ballot question that tweaks conservation rules in the Adirondacks and the Catskills to make it easier for local governments to use land for public projects.

The constitutional amendment approved Tuesday will set aside 250 acres for communities to use for projects that support health, public safety and community improvement, such as bike paths or water lines.

The constitution now prohibits local governments within the Adirondacks and Catskills from building on state land unless they get statewide voter approval. It's a cumbersome and time-consuming process that local officials say often holds up progress.

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