As he raised concerns over the sweeping changes to state government through a pair of constitutional amendments proposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie in a statement pointed to the relative short window of time debate would be held over term limits and creating a full-time Legislature that bans outside income.

But just how long is that window?

Actually, quite longer than it has been initially portrayed.

Let’s go to the state Constitution, specifically Article XIX.

The common short hand is that constitutional amendments must be approved be two separately elected sessions of the Legislature and then it by voters in a referendum before being made law.

At first blush, this would mean a fast timetable: The Legislature approves the amendments in a potential special session this month and then by the newly elected (or re-elected) lawmakers in the Senate and Assembly by January, with a referendum in the fall of 2017.

But that’s not the case, according to the constitution, which stipulates the amendment must be “referred to the next regular legislative session convening after the succeeding general election of members of the assembly.”

In other words, the next time the Legislature would consider second passage is after the 2018 elections, or the 2019 legislative session.

This gives everyone some significant wiggle room on both term limits and the push for an outside income ban (and, potentially, more leverage).

A hat tip is in order to Casey Seiler, who received a call on this earlier and brought it to my attention.