In 1938 New York amended the Constitution to charge the Legislature to care for the needy.  This is an area in which New York has long led the way. Today, however, the middle class also faces increasing problems with the affordability of goods and services needed for a basic standard of living.  These affordability issues are particularly acute when lack of affordability threatens especially grave harm.  One clear example of this situation is basic health care coverage which is unaffordable for many.  Another example is the inability to afford counsel to defend against grave threats such as an eviction threatening homelessness or domestic violence in a marriage or other relationship.

Needed change:

  • Expand the Constitution’s call to the Legislature to care for the needy to include situations where lack of affordability for the middle class threatens especially grave harm.