Passing Laws



1. How does an idea become a law?
Click this link to learn how laws are made...

2. Is it necessary for a bill to be introduced in both houses?
No, a bill does not have to be introduced in both houses before it can become law. However, many bills are simultaneously introduced in both houses using a special "uni-bill" process so that committees of each house may begin work on them and provide informed support in each house. Bills do have to be voted on by both houses and signed by the Governor before becoming law.

3. How many votes are needed to pass a bill in New York State?
According to the State Constitution, a bill cannot become law "except by the assent of a majority of the members elected to each branch of the Legislature."

4. Must the Governor act on all bills passed by the Legislature?
Bills passed before the last 10 days of the legislative session automatically become law if not signed or vetoed by the Governor within 10 days after receiving them. 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.

5. How many votes are necessary to repass a vetoed bill?
A bill vetoed by the Governor cannot become law unless it is repassed by two-thirds of the members elected to each house.

6. Does the Legislature prepare the State Budget?
No. The Governor must present it to the Legislature annually in the middle of January.