Bill S7587-2013

Requires public authorities to conduct open meetings and provide an internet broadcast of its meetings

Requires public authorities to conduct open meetings and provide an internet broadcast of its meetings.

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  • May 15, 2014: REFERRED TO CORPORATIONS, AUTHORITIES AND COMMISSIONS

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S7587

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public authorities law, in relation to requiring open meetings and the internet broadcast of open meetings of each state authority and local authority

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:

This bill would require state and local authorities to webcast, record, archive and provide access to their meetings via the Internet to the public.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:

Section 1 amends public authorities law by requiring all state and local authorities to comply with the open meetings law.

Requires state and local authorities to webcast their board and committee meetings, to record said meetings, to archive said meeting and to provide access to said archive on its website for the prior year.

*Provides a webcasting exception for executive sessions.

*Provides a one year waiver of the webcasting requirement for authorities which do not satisfy respective one million dollar thresholds.

*Establishes standing to enforce compliance with the statute.

Section 2 is the effective date

JUSTIFICATION:

This bill would ensure that the public business being performed at state and local public benefit corporations is in an open and public manner which is essential to the maintenance of a democratic society and to the ensure transparency and accountability at public authorities. New affordable and innovative technology allows all public authorities to webcast their meetings. This bill would modernize the open meeting law for the 21st century. Under this law, New Yorkers would be provided a window into the secluded board rooms where decisions impacting the public happen every day. Just as the state legislative proceeding are webcast and archived so should the entities that are delegated legislative authority. For the majority of the public who cannot personally attend board meetings, this would allow them to access them from home, at work or at a time/place convenient for them.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

This is a new bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

Undetermined.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect 180 days after it shall become law.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7587 IN SENATE May 15, 2014 ___________
Introduced by Sen. ESPAILLAT -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions AN ACT to amend the public authorities law, in relation to requiring open meetings and the internet broadcast of open meetings of each state authority and local authority THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The public authorities law is amended by adding two new sections 2824-b and 2824-c to read as follows: S 2824-B. OPEN MEETINGS. EACH STATE AUTHORITY AND LOCAL AUTHORITY SHALL BE SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF ARTICLE SEVEN OF THE PUBLIC OFFI- CERS LAW. S 2824-C. INTERNET BROADCAST OF OPEN MEETINGS. 1. EACH STATE AUTHORITY AND LOCAL AUTHORITY SHALL BROADCAST OVER THE INTERNET, LIVE VIDEO AND AUDIO OF EACH OPEN MEETING HELD BY THE AUTHORITY. THE TIME AND PLACE OF EACH SUCH MEETING SHALL BE CONSPICUOUSLY POSTED ON THE STATE AUTHORITY OR LOCAL AUTHORITY'S INTERNET WEBSITE AT LEAST ONE WEEK PRIOR TO SUCH MEETING. 2. ALL MEETINGS BROADCAST IN ACCORDANCE WITH SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE RECORDED, ARCHIVED, AND MADE ACCESSIBLE TO THE PUBLIC ON ITS WEBSITE FOR AT LEAST ONE YEAR AFTER THE DATE OF THE MEETING. 3. THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION SHALL APPLY TO ALL MEETINGS OF THE BOARD AND ITS COMMITTEES, BUT SHALL NOT APPLY TO EXECUTIVE SESSIONS HELD IN ACCORDANCE WITH ARTICLE SEVEN OF THE PUBLIC OFFICERS LAW. 4. EACH STATE AUTHORITY AND LOCAL AUTHORITY WHICH: (A) HAS REVENUE OF LESS THAN ONE MILLION DOLLARS; (B) HAS OUTSTANDING BONDS OR DEBT OF LESS THAN ONE MILLION DOLLARS; AND (C) IS ALLOCATED LESS THAN ONE MILLION DOLLARS IN STATE, COUNTY OR MUNICIPAL ANNUAL APPROPRIATIONS, MAY WAIVE, FOR A PERIOD OF ONE YEAR, THE REQUIREMENTS SET FORTH IN SUBDIVISIONS ONE AND TWO OF THIS SECTION, IF VOTED UPON AND APPROVED BY THE BOARD OF THE STATE AUTHORITY OR LOCAL AUTHORITY. 5. EACH STATE AUTHORITY AND LOCAL AUTHORITY THAT APPROVES A WAIVER PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION FOUR OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE REQUIRED TO SATIS-
FY THE REQUIREMENTS OF SUBDIVISIONS ONE AND TWO OF THIS SECTION IF THEY SURPASS ANY OF THE RESPECTIVE ONE MILLION DOLLAR THRESHOLDS SET FORTH IN SUBDIVISION FOUR OF THIS SECTION, IN ANY FISCAL YEAR. 6. ANY AGGRIEVED PERSON SHALL HAVE STANDING TO ENFORCE THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION AGAINST A STATE AUTHORITY OR LOCAL AUTHORITY BY THE COMMENCEMENT OF A PROCEEDING PURSUANT TO ARTICLE SEVENTY-EIGHT OF THE CIVIL PRACTICE LAW AND RULES, OR AN ACTION FOR DECLARATORY JUDGEMENT AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF. IN ANY SUCH ACTION OR PROCEEDING, IF A COURT DETER- MINES THAT A STATE AUTHORITY OR LOCAL AUTHORITY FAILED TO COMPLY WITH THIS SECTION, THE COURT SHALL HAVE THE POWER, IN ITS DISCRETION, UPON GOOD CAUSE SHOWN, TO DECLARE THAT THE STATE AUTHORITY OR LOCAL AUTHORITY VIOLATED THIS SECTION AND/OR DECLARE THE ACTION TAKEN IN RELATION TO SUCH VIOLATION VOID, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, WITHOUT PREJUDICE TO THE RECONSIDERATION IN COMPLIANCE WITH THIS SECTION. 7. IN ANY PROCEEDING BROUGHT PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION, COSTS AND REASONABLE ATTORNEY FEES MAY BE AWARDED BY THE COURT, IN ITS DISCRETION, TO THE SUCCESSFUL PARTY. S 2. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it shall have become a law.

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