Lobbying for Passage of a Bill in NYS: Some Basics

Download the guide


  • Draft bill and sponsor’s memo (explaining why bill is a good idea)
  • Recruit appropriate sponsor(s) and consider supporting organizations that may want to weigh in on the issue
  • Work closely with sponsor’s office to have bill finalized and sent through “legislative bill drafting”
  • Try to identify and address potential issues/conflicts early on

Bill is introduced by a member of the Senate or Assembly (or both)

  • Issue committee memo in support (with bill number) and send to sponsors and other interested parties
  • Continue reaching out to other groups about the bill to garner support

Bill is referred to a relevant committee

  • Send memo to committee chair and ranking minority member
  • Meet with committee staff (and/or majority/”central” staff) to discuss bill and address any concerns/questions or requested amendments; lobby for committee consideration

Public Hearing held to discuss the bill or issues addressed by bill

  • Submit testimony in person or written
  • Attend hearing to learn about issues with bill, other opinions and the groups involved

Bill is placed on a committee agenda for a vote

  • Distribute bill memo to all committee members
  • If necessary or helpful, call legislators’ offices reiterating position
  • Encourage other supporting organizations to do the same

Bill is laid aside by sponsor OR Motion to hold for consideration

  • Contact sponsor and/or chair for more information
  • Determine if amendments needed

Bill is discharged from committee and reported to the floor, where it is placed on the calendar and aged for 3 days (“calendar reading”)

  • Re-send memo to leadership and legislative staff requesting bill be put on active list
  • As needed, arrange further meetings to push for a floor vote
    *Similar to getting a bill out of committee, moving a bill to the active list may take significant time and effort, especially if opposition has been expressed

Bill is placed on the ‘active list’ to be voted on by the full house

  • Distribute memo in support to all members
  • Call offices stating your position and how you hope they will vote
  • Encourage other supporting organizations to do the same

Bill passes and is delivered to the Governor

  • Send memo to Governor’s office, urging passage. Make sure all other groups involved have done same

Remember!  A bill must pass both houses of the legislature (in the same year) before it can be sent to the Governor.  Be prepared to have unique challenges, strategies and timelines in each house.