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New York State Legislative History Research: Bill Jackets

This guide is intended to help researchers locate print and online sources for New York State Legislative History Research.

Bill Jackets

A bill jacket is a compilation of documents received by the governor's counsel's office after a bill has passed both houses of the legislature and is awaiting the governor's signature.  The bill jacket may contain letters and memoranda from state agencies, legislators, lobbyists, bar associations and private citizens discusssing the pros and cons of a bill and why the governor should or should not sign the bill.

Bill jackets for the current legislative session are available from the Legislative Secretary to the Governor's Counsel (518) 474-7182.

Bill jackets are available in microform for 1905 and since 1921 at the New York State Library and the New York State Archives, both in Albany.  They are available locally in microform, also for 1905 and since 1921, at the New York Public Library Science, Business and Industry Library in Manhattan at 188 Madison Avenue (at 34th Street), New York, NY 10016.  The State University of New York at Buffalo Charles B. Sears Law Library also has a collection of bill jackets, copies of which may be obtained through interlibrary loan.

Another source of bill jackets, for a fee, is the New York Legislative Service.  The New York Legislative Service was founded in 1932 with the goal of making the legislative process more accessible.  The organizaion is a non-profit, non-partisan membership corporation which provides reports, research and publications related to New York State and New York City legislative activity.  Their office is located at 15 Maiden Lane, New York, NY 10038, (212) 962-2826, www.nyls.org

Bill jackets are available on WestlawNext beginning in 1996.

The New York State Archives has begun adding digital images of bill jackets on their web site as part of their digital collections.  Currently bill jackets back to 2000 are available online, http://www.archives.nysed.gov/d/