Bill Text: NY A00121 | 2019-2020 | General Assembly | Amended

Bill Title: Relates to publishing records of public interest by agencies and the legislature on their websites.

Spectrum: Moderate Partisan Bill (Democrat 28-4)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-03-19 - print number 121a [A00121 Detail]

Download: New_York-2019-A00121-Amended.html

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                     January 9, 2019
          RICHARDSON, SALKA, MORINELLO -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of  A.  GRIF-
          FIN,  ORTIZ,  PAULIN,  SIMON,  THIELE -- read once and referred to the
          Committee on Governmental Operations  --  committee  discharged,  bill
          amended,  ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said commit-
        AN ACT to amend the public  officers  law,  in  relation  to  publishing
          records of public interest by agencies and the state legislature
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. Section 84 of the public officers law, as added by  chapter
     2  933 of the laws of 1977, is amended to read as follows:
     3    § 84. Legislative  declaration.  The  legislature  hereby finds that a
     4  free society is maintained when government is responsive and responsible
     5  to the public, and when the public is aware of governmental actions. The
     6  more open a government is with its citizenry,  the  greater  the  under-
     7  standing and participation of the public in government.
     8    As  state  and  local government services increase and public problems
     9  become more sophisticated and complex and therefore harder to solve, and
    10  with the resultant increase in revenues and expenditures, it  is  incum-
    11  bent  upon  the state and its localities to extend public accountability
    12  wherever and whenever feasible.
    13    The people's right to know the process of governmental decision-making
    14  and to review the documents and statistics leading to determinations  is
    15  basic  to our society. Access to such information should not be thwarted
    16  by shrouding it with the cloak of secrecy or confidentiality.
    17    Since the freedom of information law was first  adopted,  advances  in
    18  technology  have  enhanced  the  ability  to  gain  access to and widely
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 121--A                           2
     1  disseminate public information.  Accordingly, the legislature finds that
     2  government agencies, when agencies have the ability  to  do  so,  should
     3  publish  records proactively on the internet that are of public interest
     4  and available under this article.
     5    The  legislature  therefore  declares  that government is the public's
     6  business and that the public, individually and collectively and  repres-
     7  ented  by  a free press, should have access to the records of government
     8  in accordance with the provisions of this article.
     9    § 2. Section 90 of the public officers law is renumbered section  90-a
    10  and a new section 90 is added to read as follows:
    11    §  90.  Records  of  public  interest. 1. Each agency and house of the
    12  state legislature shall publish, on its internet website, when the agen-
    13  cy or house of the state legislature has the ability to do  so,  records
    14  or  portions of records that are available to the public pursuant to the
    15  provisions of this article, and which, in consideration of their nature,
    16  content or subject matter,  are  determined  by  the  agency  to  be  of
    17  substantial interest to the public. Any such records may be removed from
    18  the  internet  website when the agency or house of the state legislature
    19  determines that they are  no  longer  of  substantial  interest  to  the
    20  public.  Any  such records may be removed from the internet website when
    21  they have reached the end of their legal retention period.  Guidance  on
    22  creating  records  in  accessible  formats and ensuring their continuing
    23  accessibility shall be available from the office for technology and  the
    24  state archives.
    25    2.  The  provisions of subdivision one of this section shall not apply
    26  to records or portions of records the disclosure of which would  consti-
    27  tute  an  unwarranted  invasion  of  personal privacy in accordance with
    28  subdivision two of section eighty-nine of this article.
    29    3. The committee on open government shall  promulgate  regulations  to
    30  effectuate this section.
    31    4.  Nothing  in this section shall be construed as to limit or abridge
    32  the power of an agency or house of  the  state  legislature  to  publish
    33  records  on  its  internet website that are subject to the provisions of
    34  this article prior to a written request or prior to a frequent request.
    35    § 3. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day  after  it  shall
    36  have become a law.