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In New York State, there are four statewide elected offices: Governor and Lieutenant Governor (who are elected jointly), Comptroller, and Attorney General.  The Comptroller heads the Department of Audit and Control and the Attorney General heads the Department of Law.  These are two of the twenty executive departments.  The Governor oversees the other departments (with the exception of the Education Department which is overseen by the Board of Regents).  The Lieutenant Governor participates in the legislative branch as President of the Senate.


The New York State Legislature is composed of two houses, the Senate and the Assembly.  There are 62 members of the State Senate and 150 members of the State Assembly.  In order for a bill to become law, it must pass both houses before it is sent to the Governor for approval or veto. 
The process of enacting a law begins in each house with the initial drafting and introduction of a bill.  Typically, the bill is then sent to a committee specializing in the subject matter of the bill, such as Labor or Environmental Conservation.  The committee may hold hearings or other proceedings to deliberate the bill, and if it passes out of the committee it may go to the floor of the house where it was introduced for debate and a vote by the full membership.  A bill must receive votes from a majority of Senators or Assemblymembers in order to pass.


If a bill passes in both the Assembly and the Senate, it is then sent to the Governor for veto or approval.  If the governor vetoes a bill, the legislature may override the veto if two-thirds of the membership in each house vote to do so.
Once a bill is passed by both houses of the Legislature and approved by the Governor, it is often implemented and enforced by state agencies that operate within the Executive Branch.  These agencies promulgate rules and regulations in order to implement laws.


The activities of the Legislature and state agencies are matters of public interest, and it is important that these activities are conducted in the open and that legislative and agency records are readily available to the public and members of the media.

 


 

 


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