Steps provided by NYS Senate website on how a bill becomes a law.
Someone has a new policy idea.
Idea is drafted into a bill.
Bill undergoes committee process.
Senate and Assembly pass bill.
It's a Law!
Bill is signed by the Governor.
Step 1: New Idea
"Senators and Assembly members often come up with new ideas, however they come from many other places such as a senator's or assembly member's:
- an organization that's calling for a new law
- State official
Regardless of the source, this idea serves as the starting point for any new bill or law."
Step 2: Drafted Bill
"Once an idea for a new law has been settled on, it must be drafted as a bill before it can be considered by the Senate and Assembly. Bill drafting requires a specialized legal training, and it is usually carried out by the staff of New York State's Legislative Bill Drafting Commission."
Step 3: Committee Process
Bills are generally only introduced only by legislators or by standing committees of the Senate and Assembly. On introduction, a bill goes to the Introduction and Revision Office, given a number, and sent to the appropriate standing committee."
Step 3: Committee Process Cont.
Members of Standing Committees evaluate bills and decide whether to send them to the floor for a final decision. A committee agenda is issued each week listing the bills and issues each committee will handle the following week.
Committees often hold public hearings on bills to gather the widest possible range of opinion. Citizens can share their opinion on a proposed bill with their representative for relay to the committee members.
After consideration, the committee may report the bill to the full Senate/Assembly for consideration, it may amend the bill, or it may reject it."
Step 4: Senate and Assembly Pass Bill
"After explanation, discussion or debate, a vote is taken. If a majority of the Senators approves, the bill is sent to the Assembly. It is referred to a committee for discussion, and if approved there, it goes to the full membership for a vote. If the bill is approved in the Assembly without amendment, it goes on to the Governor. However, if it is changed, it is returned to the Senate for concurrence in the amendments. (The reverse procedure is followed if the Assembly first passes a bill identical to a Senate measure or if the Senate amends an Assembly bill.)"
"While the Legislature is in session, the Governor has 10 days (not counting Sundays) to sign or veto bills passed by both houses. Signed bills become law; vetoed bills do not. However, the Governor's failure to sign or veto a bill within the 10-day period means that it becomes law automatically.
A vetoed bill can become law if two-thirds of the members of each house vote to override the Governor's veto. If a bill is sent to the Governor when the Legislature is out of session, the rules are a bit different. At such times, the Governor has 30 days in which to make a decision, and failure to act ("pocket veto") has the same effect as a veto."
Step 5: Bill Signed By Governor
At a hearing, the committee discusses the merits and disadvantages of the bill, and any interested party may ask to speak to the committee. The committee casts a vote on the bill, the bill can be defeated or it can advance. Within the committees are subcommittees, which are established to study specific aspects of larger issues being reviewed by the full committee, bills are assigned to committees based on the subject they address.
If the committee advances the bill, it is printed and the full body of legislators has at least two days to review it. At this time any legislator from the house of origin can suggest amendments.
On the Third Reading, amendments can be suggested but can't be approved unless two-thirds of the legislators agree to the change. Following a vote on amendments, the bill once again comes to a vote by the full body.
When the two houses can't agree on changes to a bill, it is sent to a Conference Committee. The Senate Majority Leader and Assembly Speaker each appoint five members from their respective houses to serve on this committee. After agreement is reached, the bill is printed and processed like any other bill.
The bill is read by title for the first time to the full legislative body.
Assigned to Committee
The Senate and Assembly will send their bill to a committee to review what's written.
No! But he does have to send the bill back to the house it originated with a justification letter.
2. Is there a limit on how many bills the governor can veto?
Yes, public opinion often affects the shape of a bill as well as its eventual success or failure.
1. Are citizen opinions on bills relevant to the Governor in the signing process?
The Legislature Session began January 8th and ended June 20th.
3. When did the Legislature Session start/end?
The Governor's office requests specific bills from the Houses when they are reviewing certain issues. The Governor's office coordinates delivery of the bills with the House that first passes the bill. Bills are not delivered to the Governor until they are requested, so everyone knows what is being reviewed and when.
4. Why might you see several bills delivered to the governor at one time instead of having them delivered individually?
All bills requiring an expenditure of state funds must first be sent to the Ways and Means Committee. They make sure the state can afford the cost of the bill.
5. What is the Ways and Means Committee?
Bills which impose criminal and civil sanctions must go before the Codes Committee before it can be sent to the floor to be voted on.
6. What is the Codes Committee?
Take A Guess!
How many state legislators and other state elected officials have been arrested for a felony, misdemeanor, or violation while in office?
29, with at least 21 being sentenced to prison or house arrest.
Take A Guess!
Take A Guess!
How much does a state legislator make for a salary a year?
Take A Guess!
$79,500 as well as reimbursement for any traveling, lodging, and meal expenses when in Albany. Their legislative position is considered part-time, so most members also make a "full-time" salary putting them between $100,000-$450,000/year. Most state legislators are fighting for an increase in salary.