1. Identification of Topics.

(a) New bills are listed under Status of Pending Legislation on the RPLS website, beginning in January each year, and steps taken by the legislature on each bill are posted daily. They are chosen for the list by the NYSBA Governmental Relations Department (Kevin Kerwin, Assoc. Dir), with additions from the Legislation Committee Co-Chairs. Committee Co-Chairs (or their designees) are urged to review the status periodically to identify bill of interest and to monitor their progress.

(b) Legislation Committee Co-Chairs will prepare and distribute to the RPLS XC a Legislation Chart of selected bills to aid in identifying and monitoring them.

2. Drafting of Memos.

(a) Legislation Committee Co-Chairs, with the help of other Committee Co-Chairs and other RPLS members, will attempt to identify bills worthy of comment by our Section and ask Committee Chairs and RPLS members to draft memos. RPLS members may volunteer on their own.

(b) Legislation Committee Co-Chairs will notify RPLS XC members by email each time a memo is assigned for drafting. It is suggested that Committee Chairs forward each email to their members if they think there would be interested in the subject. If more than one person volunteers, the Legislation Committee Co-Chairs will select one or more persons to do the draft.

(c) The memo should be: (1) in support, (2) in opposition, (3) in support if amended [specifying the amendment], or (4) in opposition unless amended [specifying the amendment]. The first sentence or two should succinctly state the reasons for the position taken in the memo, including any recommended amendments. Memos should be short (1-3 pages). The name of the drafter or drafters should appear at the end of the memo.

3. Approval of Memos.

(a) Legislation Committee Co-Chairs will review and approve each memo as to form (not substance). Once approved, Legislation Committee Co-Chairs will circulate the memo to the RPLS XC for comment within 5 business days (or less in emergencies). Any comments will be dealt with by the Legislation Committee Co-Chairs, in consultation with the RPLS Chair as needed to resolve any disputes.

(b) In case of an unresolved conflict of opinion on a memo, the conflict will be resolved by the RPLS Chair, in consultation with the other officers. Consideration may be given to adding a dissenting comment to a memo in an appropriate case.

(c) Once approved by the Chair, the name of the Chair will appear at the end of the memo after the name of the drafter(s).

(d) The Legislation Committee Co-Chairs will then forward the memo to the NYSBA Government Relations Department for finalization and filing with the legislature.

(e) Copies of the memos will be displayed on the RPLS website and may be posted on the RPLS blog and RPLS forum.


Guidelines for RPLS Legislation Memos (pdf)