Step 9. Legislative Hearings and Debates

  1. Public Hearings.

    A legislative committee may hold public hearings on bills before it, although such hearings are not required. Transcripts of hearings are generally difficult to obtain. A copy of a hearing is available only if the committee tapes or transcribes it, and sends this copy to the Legislative Library, the State Library, or the State Archives.

    • 1900-present (as of 9/07). Both the State Archives and the Library have some Assembly and Senate public hearings. Search these hearings as separates in the Library's online catalog. The Library also has some uncataloged public hearings. Call the reference desk at (518) 474-5355 for assistance in locating these. The Legislature is not legally required to send their documents and records to the Archives and the Library, so this collection is not complete. From about 1980 the Legislative Library has been receiving the public hearings and microfilming them.

      Microfiche Collection: 1980-1989, 1995, 1997 (as of 9/07). Hearings are filed by date in the Microform Area, MA, 348.74701 qN532 91-27872. The Legislative Library intends to film the hearings in five year batches, and will probably provide a copy to the State Library.

    • Index by date. RR, 348.74701 qN532 91-27872.
  2. Floor Debates.

    These collections of debates are untranscribed tapes of the session. Order debates by bill number and date passed.

    • Assembly debates.
      • 1973-present. Order from:

        NYS Assembly Public Information Office (518) 455-4218
        Room 202, Legislative Office Building
        Albany, NY 12248

    • Senate debates.
      • Current session. Order from:

        NYS Senate Communications Office (518) 455-2264
        Room 416, State Capitol
        Albany, NY 12224

      • 1960 to year prior to the current session. Order from:

        NYS Senate Microfilm and Records Room (518) 455-3200
        Room 500GA, State Capitol
        Albany, NY 12224

    • 1974-1976 debates are held by the State Archives.
Last Updated: April 6, 2011