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Retention and Disposition of Legislative Records

Legislative Law requires the “secretary or clerk of each house” to maintain all “legislative papers and documents” of their respective houses and identifies the retention periods for specific Senate and Assembly records (per Legislative Law §22, §22-a, and §22-b). The law also indicates that any house of the legislature that wants to dispose of records must first notify the Commissioner of Education and allow the Commissioner to assess the materials for potential historical value. Any records deemed to have historical value must then be transferred to “depositories designated by the temporary president of the senate” or “the speaker of the assembly.” The Arts and Cultural Affairs Law authorizes the Archives to appraise, acquire, preserve, and make available legislative records (per Arts and Cultural Affairs Law § 57.05). The Archives has acquired records of the legislature, including records of individual legislators.