Relates to the definition of a public body pursuant to the open meetings law; includes any advisory committee or similar body created by such public body or pursuant to state or local law or any entity consisting of two or more members created by executive order of the governor.
Ayes (62): Adams, Addabbo, Alesi, Aubertine, Bonacic, Breslin, DeFrancisco, Diaz, Dilan, Duane, Espada, Farley, Flanagan, Foley, Fuschillo, Golden, Griffo, Hannon, Hassell-Thomps, Huntley, Johnson C, Johnson O, Klein, Krueger, Kruger, Lanza, Larkin, LaValle, Leibell, Libous, Little, Marcellino, Maziarz, McDonald, Monserrate, Montgomery, Morahan, Nozzolio, Onorato, Oppenheimer, Padavan, Parker, Perkins, Ranzenhofer, Robach, Saland, Sampson, Savino, Schneiderman, Serrano, Seward, Skelos, Smith, Squadron, Stachowski, Stavisky, Stewart-Cousins, Thompson, Valesky, Volker, Winner, Young
BILL NUMBER: S3348A
TITLE OF BILL : An act to amend the public officers law, in relation to the definition of a public body pursuant to the open meetings law
PURPOSE : This bill will amend the definition of a public body to include any advisory committee or similar body created by such public body or pursuant to executive order, or state or local law or any entity consisting of two or more members created by executive order of the governor.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS : Amends Section 1. Subdivision 2 of Section 102 of the Public Officers. Law.
JUSTIFICATION : Several recent court decisions (GoodsonTodman Enterprises, Ltd. v. Town Board of Milan, 542 NYS 2d 373, 374, 151 AD 2d 642 (1989); Poughkeepsie Newspaper v. Mayor's Intergovernmental Task Force, 145 AD 2d 65, 67 (1989); see also New York Public Interest Research Group v. Governor's Advisory Commission, 507 NYS 2d 798, aff'd with no opinion, 135 AD 2d 1149, motion for leave to appeal denied, 71 NY 2d 964 (1988) ) have indicated that advisory bodies, other than those consisting of members of a governing body, are not public bodies and therefore not subject to the Open Meetings Law.
It is essential to a democratic society that deliberations and decisions made by policymakers and their advisors are transparent and accessible to the general public. This bill is introduced in this spirit of open government and freedom of information. It is not uncommon for members of the public to be barred from government decision-making that occurs in public forums, whether in a body created by executive order or in advisory committees. Expanding the definition of public body will ensure greater transparency in government and a more informed, engaged public.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY : New bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS : None.
EFFECTIVE DATE : Effective immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3348--A Cal. No. 124 2009-2010 Regular Sessions IN SENATE March 17, 2009 ___________Introduced by Sen. C. JOHNSON -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Investigations and Government Operations -- reported favorably from said committee, ordered to first and second report, amended on second report, ordered to a third reading, and to be reprinted as amended, retaining its place in the order of third reading AN ACT to amend the public officers law, in relation to the definition of a public body pursuant to the open meetings law THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 2 of section 102 of the public officers law, as amended by chapter 704 of the laws of 1979 and such section as renum- bered by chapter 652 of the laws of 1983, is amended to read as follows: 2. "Public body" means any entity, for which a quorum is required in order to conduct public business and which consists of two or more members, performing a governmental function for the state or for an agency or department thereof, or for a public corporation as defined in section sixty-six of the general construction law, or committee or subcommittee or other similar body of such public body. A PUBLIC BODY SHALL ALSO INCLUDE ANY ADVISORY COMMITTEE OR SIMILAR BODY CREATED BY SUCH PUBLIC BODY OR PURSUANT TO EXECUTIVE ORDER, OR STATE OR LOCAL LAW, OR ANY ENTITY CONSISTING OF TWO OR MORE MEMBERS CREATED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER OF THE GOVERNOR. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD10446-04-9