March 13, 2013

Assembly Passes Sunshine Week Legislation to Increase Public Access and Promote Greater Government Accountability

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Governmental Operations Committee Chair Steven Englebright, announced the approval of the Assembly's Sunshine Week legislative package to strengthen the state's Freedom of Information Law (FOIL).

"A government that is truly 'of the people' must, by definition, be open and transparent," said Silver. "These laws give the public a necessary window into the operation of our state and foster confidence in our government."

"The approval of this legislative package advances the Assembly's strong and ongoing commitment to a more open and transparent government," said Englebright. "Instituting these measures will better serve New Yorkers. This reinforces their trust in government by strengthening the state's Freedom of Information Law to make it easier for the public to access more government documents."

To address concerns about providing appropriate controls for the use and management of the state's real property assets, the Assembly approved a measure that would require the state to provide greater disclosure of information relating to the sale of property. Under the bill (A.5172, Englebright), an auditing system would be established to track the inventory of real property.

The Assembly's Sunshine Week agenda also includes bills that would:

In addition, the package includes a bill that would require the disclosure, in response to a FOIL request, of the name of a retiree of the New York State Public Employee's Retirement System but not the names of their beneficiaries (A.5171, Englebright).