Home Rule Exception in New York

In City of New York v. Patrolmen's Benevolent Assn., 89 NY2d 380, 391, 676 N.E.2d 847, 654 N.Y.S.2d 85 (1996) ("PBA I"), the Court summarized the law as follows: For the State to enact special law on local affairs without complying with home rule requirements, its interest in the subject matter must be substantial. Moreover, and as a corollary to the constitutional balancing of overlapping local and State interests requiring that the "subjects of State concern must be directly and substantially involved," the enactment must bear a reasonable relationship to the legitimate, accompanying substantial State concern. Otherwise, "interference in such a degree would be intrusion upon a concern or interest of the city without a compensating offset in the advancement of a concern or interest of the State." Thus, State legislation impacting especially on a locality is only valid if "it can be stated that the statutes in question 'serve a supervening State concern'" and "relate to life, health, and the quality of life of the People of the State." Finally, the substantial State concern which will be permitted to trump constitutional home rule requirements regarding a particular enactment cannot be derived, as the PBA suggests, purely from speculative assertions on possible State-wide implications of the subject matter, having no support in the language, structure or legislative history of the statute. Again, it would be absolutely inconsistent with the sensitive balancing of State and local interests that has been our tradition in home rule litigation to allow the State to justify legislation inimical to the constitutional values of the home rule article based purely on considerations having no apparent role in its enactment, no matter how plausibly conceived as an afterthought. (Id. at 391-92.) In Patrolmen's Benevolent Assn. v. City of New York, 97 NY2d 378, 386, 767 N.E.2d 116, 740 N.Y.S.2d 659 (2001) the Court noted the "recognized exception to the home rule message requirement ... when a special law serves a substantial state concern."