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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 Office of General Counsel after a New York 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, phone: (518) 474-7182.  Researchers also may submit Freedom of Information Law requests for incomplete (because documents are still being added) bill jackets.
  • New York State Archives provides a digital collection of Legislative Bill and Veto Jackets from 1994- and a Finding Aid.
    • The New York State Archives Finding Aid contains this section: Alternative Formats Available:
      • "Bill jackets, 1905, 1921-1974, and veto and recall jackets, 1905, 1926-1958, available on microform at the New York State Library (Albany), New York Public Library (New York), and State University of New York at Buffalo Law Library.

      • Bill and veto jackets, 1975-1982, available on microfilm at the New York State Archives.

      • Bill and veto jackets, 1983-1998, available on microfiche at the New York State Archives.

      • Bill and veto jackets, 1995-present, available in New York State Archives Digital Collections."

  • New York Legislative Service sells bill jackets.  New York Legislative Service, founded in 1932, is a non-profit, non-partisan membership corporation that provides reports, research and publications related to New York State and New York City legislative activity. 
  • Bill jackets are available in Westlaw: New York Legislative History: Bill Jackets from the 219th Legislature (1996) through the 244th Legislature (2021).