Bill Text: NY A06859 | 2019-2020 | General Assembly | Introduced

Bill Title: Authorizes the use of innovative techniques to enhance public participation in the rule making process; provides that use of such techniques shall in no way otherwise diminish public participation in the rule making process; establishes a three year pilot project for seven major regulatory agencies to hold public hearings upon petition of 125 or more New York residents.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-03-22 - referred to governmental operations [A06859 Detail]

Download: New_York-2019-A06859-Introduced.html

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                     March 22, 2019
        Introduced  by M. of A. ORTIZ -- read once and referred to the Committee
          on Governmental Operations
        AN ACT to amend the state administrative procedure act, in  relation  to
          public  hearings  on  proposed  rules; and providing for the repeal of
          such provisions upon expiration thereof
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section  1.  Subdivision  1 of section 102 of the state administrative
     2  procedure act, as amended by section 155 of subpart B of part C of chap-
     3  ter 62 of the laws of 2011, is amended to read as follows:
     4    1. "Agency" means any department, board, bureau, commission, division,
     5  office, council, committee or officer of the state, or a public  benefit
     6  corporation  or  public  authority  at  least  one  of  whose members is
     7  appointed by the governor, authorized by law to make rules  or  to  make
     8  final  decisions  in  adjudicatory proceedings but shall not include the
     9  governor, agencies in the legislative and  judicial  branches,  agencies
    10  created  by  interstate compact or international agreement, the division
    11  of military and naval affairs to the extent it exercises  its  responsi-
    12  bility for military and naval affairs, the division of state police, the
    13  identification and intelligence unit of the division of criminal justice
    14  services,  the  state  insurance fund, the unemployment insurance appeal
    15  board, and except for purposes of subdivision one of section two hundred
    16  two-d and section two  hundred  two-f  of  this  chapter,  the  workers'
    17  compensation  board and except for purposes of article two of this chap-
    18  ter, the department of corrections and community supervision.
    19    § 2. The state administrative procedure act is amended by adding a new
    20  section 202-f to read as follows:
    21    § 202-f. Public hearings. 1. Whenever a public hearing is  held  on  a
    22  proposed  rule  pursuant  to  this chapter, unless otherwise provided in
    23  law, an agency is authorized to utilize innovative techniques to enhance
    24  public participation in rule making, including but not limited to allow-
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 6859                             2
     1  ing the public to ask questions of agency personnel  for  a  portion  of
     2  such hearing, organizing such hearing as a roundtable discussion, sched-
     3  uling an evening or weekend hearing, and using broadcasting and telecon-
     4  ferencing technologies; provided, however, that no such innovative tech-
     5  niques  shall  be  used  in  a manner which diminishes the ability which
     6  members of the public would otherwise have to comment  on  the  proposed
     7  rule at a public hearing. Each agency listed in subdivision four of this
     8  section  shall, and any other agency may, include in its annual report a
     9  description and analysis of its use of innovative techniques pursuant to
    10  this subdivision.
    11    2. Except as provided in subdivision three of this section, any agency
    12  listed in subdivision four of this section  which  receives  a  petition
    13  subscribed by not fewer than one hundred twenty-five persons residing in
    14  this  state  requesting a public hearing on any rule or rules which have
    15  been proposed by the agency, or have been described  in  the  regulatory
    16  agenda  submitted by the agency pursuant to section two hundred two-d of
    17  this article, shall hold at least one public  hearing  on  the  rule  or
    18  rules;  provided,  however,  that  any such petition on a rule which has
    19  been proposed must be received by the agency not later than the  twenti-
    20  eth day before the last date for submission of comments. Any agency that
    21  receives  a  petition  after  the twentieth day before the last date for
    22  submission of comments and any agency not listed in subdivision four  of
    23  this section may elect to hold a hearing upon receipt of a petition. Due
    24  consideration shall be given to any request in a petition that a hearing
    25  be conducted in a particular region.
    26    3.  An  agency shall not be required to hold a public hearing pursuant
    27  to subdivision two of this section (a) on a rule for which a hearing  is
    28  required by law and has been scheduled or held; (b) on a consensus rule;
    29  or (c) on a rule defined in subparagraph (ii) of paragraph (a) of subdi-
    30  vision  two  of  section  one hundred two of this chapter. When a public
    31  hearing has been requested for any rule described in a regulatory  agen-
    32  da,  the agency shall not be required to schedule a public hearing until
    33  such time as the rule is proposed.
    34    4. The following agencies shall engage in the reporting  provided  for
    35  in  subdivision one of this section and hold hearings as provided for in
    36  subdivisions two and three of this section:  the  workers'  compensation
    37  board  and  the  departments  of  education, environmental conservation,
    38  health, financial services, labor and family assistance.
    39    § 3. This act shall take effect on the first of January next  succeed-
    40  ing  the  date on which it shall have become a law, and shall expire and
    41  be deemed repealed on the thirty-first day of  December  of  the  second
    42  calendar  year  following  such  effective  date, and shall apply to all
    43  rules for which a notice of proposed rule making or a description  in  a
    44  regulatory agenda is published during such time period.