This bill has been amended

Bill S6849-2009

Requires certain records discussed at open meetings be made available to the public prior to such meeting

Requires records, including a proposed resolution, law, rule, regulation, policy or amendment thereto, scheduled to be presented and discussed by a public body at an open meeting be made available for review to the public.

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  • Feb 16, 2010: REFERRED TO INVESTIGATIONS AND GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS

Memo

 BILL NUMBER:  S6849

TITLE OF BILL : An act to amend the public officers law, in relation to requiring certain records which are the subject of a discussion conducted at an open meeting be made available to the public

PURPOSE : To make certain records, which are scheduled to be the subject of discussion at an open meeting, available to the public on, the agency website at least twenty-four hours prior to such meeting and a reasonable number of Copies of such records available prior to or at the meeting.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS : Section one amends section 103 of the Public Officers Law by adding a new subdivision (d). This new subdivision requires that certain records, which are scheduled to be the subject of discussion by a public body during an open meeting, shall be made avail- able prior to the meeting. Such records shall be posted on the website of the agency with which the public body is affiliated, as soon as practicable, but not less than twenty-four hours prior to the meeting and a reasonable number of copies of such records shall be made available, to the extent practicable, at or prior to the meeting.

Section two defines the effective date as thirty days following the enactment date.

JUSTIFICATION : In many instances, a public body covered by the Open Meetings Law conducts a discussion of a record which was not made available to the public prior to or at the meeting. Thus, although members of the 'public are present at the meeting, they are unable to observe the proceedings in a meaningful way. This legislation seeks to implement the recommendations made by the Committee on Open Government to correct this problem and enhance the public's right to observe the decision-making process.

If enacted into law, this bill would require that public bodies coveted by the Open Meetings Law make records available to the public that are scheduled to be discussed at the body's meeting. Specifically, this legislation would require that the record be posted on the relevant agency's website at least twenty-four hours prior to the public meeting or "as soon as practicable" and also requires that a reasonable number of, hard copies are available prior to or at the meeting "to the extent practicable."

Unlike similar legislation which was-passed by both houses in 2008 but Ultimately vetoed, this legislation will actually decrease the burdens imposed on agencies. Making certain records available on the agency website, or in hard copy at Or prior to the meeting, greatly reduces the likelihood of FOIL requests for the records after the meeting is-held. Additionally, posting the record on the agency's website imposes no cost to the agency, and eliminates the majority of administrative-tasks necessary to process a FOIL request. Such proactive disclosure has been strongly recommended by the Committee on Open Government and comports with the movement toward transparency in government taking place at the state and federal levels.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY : This is a new bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS : None.

LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS : None.

EFFECTIVE DATE : This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall become law.

Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6849 IN SENATE February 16, 2010 ___________
Introduced by Sen. C. JOHNSON -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Investigations and Government Operations AN ACT to amend the public officers law, in relation to requiring certain records which are the subject of a discussion conducted at an open meeting be made available to the public THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 103 of the public officers law is amended by adding a new subdivision (d) to read as follows: (D) AGENCY RECORDS AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC PURSUANT TO ARTICLE SIX OF THIS CHAPTER, AS WELL AS ANY PROPOSED RESOLUTION, LAW, RULE, REGULATION, POLICY OR ANY AMENDMENT THERETO, THAT ARE SCHEDULED TO BE THE SUBJECT OF DISCUSSION BY A PUBLIC BODY DURING AN OPEN MEETING SHALL BE MADE AVAIL- ABLE, TO THE EXTENT PRACTICABLE, PRIOR TO OR AT THE MEETING DURING WHICH SUCH RECORDS WILL BE DISCUSSED. SUCH RECORDS SHALL BE POSTED ON THE WEBSITE OF THE AGENCY WITH WHICH THE PUBLIC BODY IS AFFILIATED, AS SOON AS PRACTICABLE, BUT NOT LESS THAN TWENTY-FOUR HOURS PRIOR TO A MEETING DURING WHICH THEY WILL BE DISCUSSED, AND A REASONABLE NUMBER OF COPIES OF SUCH RECORDS SHALL BE MADE AVAILABLE, TO THE EXTENT PRACTICABLE, AT OR PRIOR TO THE MEETING. S 2. This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall have become a law.

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