Bill S4177-2013

Provides for the dissemination of rule making information through electronic media

Provides for the dissemination by state agencies of rule making information through electronic media such as computer bulletin boards, e-mail and other new information technologies; requires state agencies where capable to notify affected parties by electronic mail and make text of certain documents available without cost through electronic methods.

Details

Actions

  • Jan 8, 2014: REFERRED TO COMMERCE, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND SMALL BUSINESS
  • Mar 13, 2013: REFERRED TO COMMERCE, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND SMALL BUSINESS

Meetings

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S4177

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the state administrative procedure act, in relation to the dissemination of rule making information through electronic media

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill sets forth a legislative policy that state agencies should implement changes in the rule-making process to make greater use of emerging technologies for the exchange of information, such as providing notice and seeking comments through the Internet and other on-line services. A new subdivision 2 is added to § 201 of the State Administrative Procedure Act (SAPA) which provides that agencies shall maximize their use of such technologies as appropriate, and shall include information on such efforts in their annual reports. SAPA § 202(6-a) (b) and (c) are amended to allow agencies to send rule-making information by electronic mail to persons requesting notice in this format. SAPA §§ 202-b and 202-bb are amended to allow agencies to provide copies of regulatory flexibility analyses and rural area flexibility analyses via electronic mail to small businesses and affected parties in rural areas, respectively, and to allow dissemination of such information to on-line bulletin boards through the Internet or similar networks.

Also, the following provisions of SAPA are amended to include within the "contact person" listings in state agency rule-making notices the fax number and electronic mail address, if available, of the agency contact for a particular rule-making: § 202(1) (d) (viii), § 202(4-a) (c) (vii), § 202 (5) (c) (viii), and § 202 (6) (d) (x)

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: The amendments to SAPA § 202 (6-a) (b) are replaced with new statutory language in (b) providing that agencies with the technological capacity to do so shall make copies of the text of rules and rule-making documents available to publicly accessible on-line services. This renders the previous amendment to subdivision (c) unnecessary. This approach will enable persons utilizing these services to access this information without the need to make any requests directly to the agency, and, by reducing the need to respond to individual requests for information, will reduce the agency's workload. This approach will make information on regulatory policy more accessible while lowering the cost of government. The effective date is amended to be October 1, 2000.

EFFECTS OF PRESENT LAW WHICH THIS BILL WOULD ALTER: Currently, there is no provision in SAPA regarding the use of these information technologies in the rule-making process.

JUSTIFICATION: The growing use of computers in homes, schools and offices and the emergence of new information and communications technologies offers an opportunity to provide additional avenues for the provision of information to the public concerning state agency rule-making activities, and for providing public input back to the agency on the merits of proposed rules. SAPA, which is geared towards ensuring that the rule-making process remains open and accountable, should not be technology-limiting, but instead should allow agencies to make use of every technology with the potential for enhancing public participation in the development of regulatory policies. This

bill does not mandate that an agency use any particular type of information technology, but does encourage each agency to make maximum use of the technological capabilities it does possess to implement SAPA's goals.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2011-2012; A.5300 2010: A5300 2009: A5300 2008: A1053 2007: A1053 2005-2006: A.782 2003-2004: A.1774 2001-2002: A.5857 passed assembly 1999-2000: A.1477 1997-1998: A. 4595 1995-1996: A 7754-B 6/1/95: Passed Assembly, died in Senate Rules Committee.

FISCAL IMPLICATION: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 4177 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE March 13, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sen. VALESKY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Commerce, Economic Devel- opment and Small Business AN ACT to amend the state administrative procedure act, in relation to the dissemination of rule making information through electronic media THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The legislature finds and declares that the accessibility to the public of information concerning the regulatory activities of state agencies, and the ability of the public to communicate its views to state agencies in order to ensure that such policies are reflective of the people's interests, concerns and knowledge are essential elements of open and democratic government. Technological changes, such as the expansion of on-line services, computer bulletin boards and other aspects of the "information superhighway", offer the state new opportu- nities to provide additional means of ensuring the accessibility and accountability of agencies to the public. Therefore, it is the intent of the legislature that agencies maximize their use of such technologies as appropriate to provide for greater participation in the rule making process. S 2. The opening paragraph of section 201 of the state administrative procedure act is designated subdivision 1 and a new subdivision 2 is added to read as follows: 2. AGENCIES SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS CHAPTER SHALL MAXIMIZE THEIR USE OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE INTERNET AND OTHER ON-LINE SERVICES, COMPUTER BULLETIN BOARDS, ELECTRON- IC MAIL AND ADVANCED TELECOMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGIES, AS APPROPRIATE, TO PROVIDE FOR GREATER PARTICIPATION IN THE RULE MAKING PROCESS. EACH AGEN- CY SHALL INCLUDE A SUMMARY OF ITS EFFORTS IN THIS REGARD IN ITS ANNUAL REPORT.
S 3. Paragraph (b) of subdivision 6-a of section 202 of the state administrative procedure act, as amended by chapter 171 of the laws of 1994, is amended to read as follows: (b) An agency shall make a copy of the complete text of any proposed, adopted or emergency rule, regulatory impact statement, regulatory flex- ibility analysis, rural area flexibility analysis, or revisions thereof available to the public at the time such documents are submitted to the secretary of state for publication in the state register [and shall send to any person a copy of such text upon written request]. THE TEXT OF ANY PROPOSED, ADOPTED OR EMERGENCY RULE, REGULATORY IMPACT STATEMENT, REGULATORY FLEXIBILITY ANALYSIS, RURAL AREA FLEXIBILITY ANALYSIS, OR REVISIONS THEREOF SHALL BE MADE AVAILABLE BY AN AGENCY THROUGH ALL MEANS AVAILABLE TO THE AGENCY, INCLUDING THE USE OF FACSIMILE TRANSMISSIONS OR OTHER ELECTRONIC METHODS, TO ANY MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC WHO REQUESTS SUCH TEXT. THERE SHALL BE NO CHARGE FOR PROVIDING A COPY OF SUCH TEXT TO ANY MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC, EXCEPT THAT, AT THE DISCRETION OF THE AGENCY, THERE MAY BE A CHARGE FOR FACSIMILE TRANSMISSION. S 4. Paragraph (c) of subdivision 6-a of section 202 of the state administrative procedure act, as added by chapter 850 of the laws of 1990, is amended to read as follows: (c) An agency shall notify every person who has submitted a written request to be notified of all proposed, revised, emergency and/or adopted rules which may affect such person. [Such] AN AGENCY MAY PROVIDE THE TEXT OF ALL PROPOSED, REVISED, EMERGENCY AND/OR ADOPTED RULES TO PERSONS WHO REQUEST SUCH TEXT ORALLY. WRITTEN requests shall expire annually on the thirty-first day of December with renewals for the succeeding year to be accepted on or after December first UNLESS THE AGENCY AUTOMATICALLY RENEWS SUCH REQUESTS. [Notices] THE TEXT OF ANY PROPOSED, ADOPTED OR EMERGENCY RULE, REGULATORY IMPACT STATEMENT, REGU- LATORY FLEXIBILITY ANALYSIS, RURAL AREA FLEXIBILITY ANALYSIS, OR REVISIONS THEREOF issued pursuant to [such] WRITTEN OR ORAL requests shall be sent [in writing] BY MAIL BY THE AGENCY to the last address specified by the person, WHENEVER SUCH PERSON HAS REQUESTED THAT SUCH TEXT BE MAILED. An agency may charge any person requesting such [notice] TEXT a fee consisting of the cost of preparation, handling and postage. THE TEXT MAY ALSO BE PROVIDED BY ANY OTHER MEANS AVAILABLE TO THE AGENCY, INCLUDING THE USE OF FACSIMILE TRANSMISSIONS OR OTHER ELEC- TRONIC METHODS, AND A REASONABLE FEE MAY BE CHARGED THEREFOR AT THE DISCRETION OF THE AGENCY. S 5. Subdivision 6 of section 202-b of the state administrative proce- dure act, as amended by chapter 611 of the laws of 1996, is amended to read as follows: 6. When any rule is proposed for which a regulatory flexibility analy- sis is required, the agency shall assure that small businesses and local governments have been given an opportunity to participate in the rule making through such activities as: (a) the publication of a general notice for the proposed rule making in publications likely to be obtained by small businesses and local governments of the types affected by the proposed rule; (b) the direct notification of interested small businesses and local governments affected by the proposed rule INCLUDING, WHERE THE AGENCY HAS THE TECHNOLOGICAL CAPABILITY TO DO SO, NOTIFICATION BY ELECTRONIC MAIL; (c) THE DISSEMINATION OF SUCH INFORMATION TO ON-LINE BULLETIN BOARDS OVER THE INTERNET OR SIMILAR DATA COMMUNICATIONS NETWORKS;
(D) the conduct of special open conferences concerning the proposed rule for small businesses and local governments affected by the rule; and [(d)] (E) the adoption or modification of agency procedural rules to reduce the cost or complexity of participation in the rule making by small businesses and local governments. S 6. Subdivision 7 of section 202-bb of the state administrative procedure act, as added by chapter 171 of the laws of 1994, is amended to read as follows: 7. When any rule is proposed for which a rural area flexibility analy- sis is required, the agency shall assure that public and private inter- ests in rural areas have been given an opportunity to participate in the rule making through such activities as: (i) the publication of a general notice of the proposed rule making; (ii) notification of public and private interests in rural areas directly affected by the proposed rule INCLUDING, WHERE THE AGENCY HAS THE TECHNOLOGICAL CAPABILITY TO DO SO, NOTIFICATION BY ELECTRONIC MAIL; (iii) THE DISSEMINATION OF SUCH INFORMATION TO ON-LINE BULLETIN BOARDS OVER THE INTERNET OR SIMILAR DATA COMMUNICATIONS NETWORKS, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE RURAL ASSISTANCE INFORMATION NETWORK OR ANY SUCCESSOR NETWORK; (IV) the conduct of special public hearings or meetings concerning the proposed rule for those public and private interests affected by the rule; and [(iv)] (V) the adoption or modification of agency procedural rules that will minimize the cost or complexity of participation in the rule making. S 7. This act shall take effect immediately.

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