Assemblyman Weisenberg Champions ‘Sunshine Week’ Reforms

Measures increase accountability and openness in state government
March 15, 2011
Assemblyman Weisenberg joins Ed Koch at a NY Uprising press conference calling for non-partisan redistricting reform.
Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg (D-Long Beach) announced the Assembly passed a package of legislation aimed at increasing openness, accountability and transparency in state government. The measures commemorate the sixth annual Sunshine Week, which is a national, non-partisan initiative to educate the public about the importance of open government and freedom of information.

“Our legislative package helps shine a light on the state government,” Weisenberg said. “I’m supporting this package because voters deserve a responsive government that encourages citizen participation and conducts its business in the light of day.”

The legislative package aims to improve public access to government materials under the freedom of information law (FOIL). It would limit the time state agencies have to appeal a judgment against them for violations of FOIL (A.72-A) and require entities to reapply for exclusions from the law on a regular basis (A.5601-A). Another measure requires that records and legislative proposals are made available to the public prior to an open meeting, helping citizens to effectively participate in their government (A.72-A).

Weisenberg has also been a leading proponent of independent redistricting reform. He is sponsoring legislation supported by Ed Koch’s NY Uprising coalition that would establish a non-partisan commission to redraw legislative districts. The measure would help take politics out of the redistricting process, ensuring that voters choose their representatives, not the other way around, Weisenberg said.

“We have to restore the public’s faith in government – it belongs to them,” Weisenberg said. “They have the right to know what their representatives are doing, how their tax dollars are being spent and how decisions made in Albany will affect their community. Sunshine Week serves to remind us of our commitment to a more open and accessible government for all New Yorkers.”