The Rockefeller Archive Center
“If we assist the highest forms of education – in whatever field – we secure the widest influence in enlarging the boundaries of human knowledge.”
—John D. Rockefeller, Sr.
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Scope and Content Note

This series contains a comprehensive collection of the bills submitted to Nelson A. Rockefeller for approval during his tenure as Governor of New York State, an office he held from 1959 to 1973. As the chief executive of the state, Rockefeller signed all bills into law, or vetoed them. Each bill that was submitted to Rockefeller for his signature was accompanied by a memorandum from the Counsel to the Governor. These memoranda denoted the subject and purpose of the bill, including the original sponsor of the bill; brief comments offering background on the legislation; and the recommendation of the Counsel. The Counsel would usually conclude the memo with a recommendation of "Approval" or "Disapproval." In either case, the legislation may also have been signed or vetoed with an accompanying memorandum from Rockefeller.

Bills from the Legislature included some that were very specific, i.e., Assembly Bill 3228, submitted to the Governor, April 4, 1962, which extended "from May 1 to May 31 the period during which certain specified officers may kill dogs pursuing or killing deer." This bill was approved. Others reflect a special interest, i.e., a 1970 bill "to provide certain members of the Nassau County Police Department with a retirement allowance equal to 'full salary at the date of retirement' after thirty-five years of service" was disapproved on the recommendation of the Nassau County government, and the Offices of Civil Service and Budget.

The series concludes with two folders of "Memoranda of Law" that address issues arising in New York State that required extra-legislative action, for example, a November 7, 1960 Memorandum concerning the "Governor's Action to Impound Election Records." Such memoranda were written to inform the Governor of a question or a challenge regarding a recently enacted law or action by the NYS government.

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