Today, the New York State Assembly passed a package of bills in recognition of “Sunshine Week”, which take necessary steps toward increasing accountability, transparency and openness in government.
“I’m very pleased that the Assembly passed this legislation,” said Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak (D, I, C, WF –Cheektowaga). “Taxpayers deserve a government that is transparent and accountable and these pieces of legislation are steps in the right direction.”
This year’s package includes bills that would:
- require that records and legislative proposals to be discussed at an open meeting be made available to the public prior to such a meeting (A.72-A);
- limit the time state agencies would have to appeal a judgment against them for violations of freedom of information laws (A.68);
- require the commissioner of general services to maintain an inventory and audit of every state-owned real property or unappropriated state land that has been sold (A.2305); and
- require entities that submit records to state agencies that are exempt from disclosure under FOIL to re-apply for the exceptions on a regular basis (A.5601-A).
The sixth annual Sunshine Week, which occurs every year in mid-March, is a national, non-partisan initiative to educate the public about the importance of open government and freedom of information.
“Making government more transparent and accountable is vital to restoring people’s faith in government, Assemblyman Gabryszak said. “While these measures are a good first step, I think what people really want to see from Albany is ethics reform. I am hopeful that we will be passing new ethics reforms in the near future.”