Step 3. Governor's Bill, Veto and Recall Jackets

The Governor's Counsel's Office maintains files for bills passed both by the Senate and the Assembly, and awaiting the Governor's approval or disapproval. A file consists of a copy of the bill and of material submitted to the Governor's Office, which may be for or against the bill. In particular, the file may contain sponsors' memoranda, commission and agency position statements, and study group comments. Also, it may contain the views of bar associations, lobbyists, and concerned organizations and individuals. These files almost never contain committee or commssion reports, or transcripts of debates and hearings of testimony. However, they are useful for finding any references to reports of committees, task forces, or other groups named in memoranda or correspondence.

After the Governor has signed a bill into law, or vetoed it, this material becomes available to the public as a bill or veto jacket.

There are three types of bill jackets:

  1. Approval Jackets. These files contain material for bills signed into law. They are called bill jackets.

    Request bill jackets from this Library by giving the year of passage and the chapter number. For example, "Bill jacket, 1980 chap 301."


    The Library has a collection of bill jackets on microform or CD-ROM, with a three to four year lag. Our holdings include:

    1905, 1921-1958 microfilm
    1959-1974 - microfiche
    1975-1982 - microfilm
    1983-2001 - microfiche
    2002-2004 - CD-ROM 
  2. Request bill jackets at the Circulation Desk, or through interlibrary loan at your library. Telephone service: call the Reference Desk at (518) 474-5355.

    The Archives retains the original bill jackets, holding 1905, 1921-2006. Telephone service: call the Archives Reference desk at (518) 474-8955.

    The Governor's Counsel's Office keeps bill jackets for the current session. Telephone service: (518) 474-7182.

    The New York Public Libraryexternal link has the same holdings as the New York State Library. Telephone service: (212) 592-7082.

    The State University of New York at Buffalo Charles B. Sears Law Libraryexternal link has the same holdings as the New York State Library.  Telephone service: (716) 645-2047.

  3. Veto Jackets. These files contain material for bills vetoed by the Governor, and include the Governor's veto message.

    Request microfilm copies of veto jackets from this Library by year and either the Bill Introduction Number (1926-1963) or Veto Number (1964-current year).

  4. Recall Jackets. These files contain material for bills which had been returned to the Legislature at its or the Governor's request to correct a defect, but which were never returned to the Governor for consideration. In 1993 recall jackets were discontinued by order of the State Court of Appeals, its having declared the concept unconstitutional (see King v. Cuomo, 81 N.Y.2d 247).

Request microform copies of recall jackets from this Library by year and Bill Introduction Number, 1936-1954.  For 1954-1993 recall jackets may be filmed with the veto jackets--check the Library microfilm. The Archives may also have copies for 1954-1993.

Last Updated: March 6, 2015