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
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
(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
(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
(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)