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A02852 Summary:

COSPNSRStirpe, Steck, Paulin
Add Art 13-E §300, amd §30, Gen Muni L
Requires municipalities to maintain municipal websites.
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A02852 Memo:

submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
SPONSOR: Zebrowski
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the general municipal law, in relation to requiring municipalities to maintain municipal websites   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill would require all counties, cities, towns, and villages to maintain an official ".gov" website.   SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section one of the bill amends the general municipal law by adding a new article 13-e entitled "municipal websites." The legislation will require municipalities to maintain a ".gov" website that is accessible to the public and provides important information to residents. Websites must contain basic information, financial reports, meeting and election notices, meeting agendas and minutes, and an updated version of local code or laws. Section two of the bill amends section 30 of the general municipal law as it relates to clarifying that all municipalities must post financial reports on their official website. Section three of the bill relates to the effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: Municipal website provides residents with basic information on elected officials, services, local laws and municipal documents. This bill would create an unprecedented level of transparency by requiring that all local governments maintain a website where residents can access up to date information. A 2014 report by the Empire Center highlighted the poor quality of municipal websites many of which lacked basic information. The report found that less than 20% of local government received a passing grade on their website's availability of information and usability including two municipalities that did not have a website. This report's findings are troubling as all municipalities should have a website that is updated regularly and provides citizens with basic information. Website manage- ment has improved greatly over the past decade becoming both affordable and easy to maintain.
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A02852 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2023-2024 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                    January 27, 2023
        Introduced  by  M. of A. ZEBROWSKI, STIRPE, STECK, PAULIN -- Multi-Spon-
          sored by -- M. of A. COOK -- read once and referred to  the  Committee
          on  Local Governments -- recommitted to the Committee on Local Govern-
          ments in  accordance  with  Assembly  Rule  3,  sec.  2  --  committee
          discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted
          to said committee
        AN  ACT  to  amend  the  general municipal law, in relation to requiring
          municipalities to maintain municipal websites
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section  1. The general municipal law is amended by adding a new arti-
     2  cle 13-E to read as follows:
     3                                ARTICLE 13-E
     4                             MUNICIPAL WEBSITES
     5  Section 300. Municipal websites.
     6    § 300. Municipal websites. 1. All municipal corporations  shall  main-
     7  tain an official website with a ".gov" domain name that is accessible to
     8  the public and update such website regularly. The official website shall
     9  contain  basic information on the municipality including but not limited
    10  to hours of operations, elected officials  and  services  provided.  The
    11  website  shall  contain  a privacy policy that is prominently posted and
    12  written in plain language that informs website visitors of any  personal
    13  information that is being collected and how it is being used.
    14    2.  Municipal  websites  shall,  at  a  minimum, contain the following
    15  information:
    16    a. all documents required by subdivision seven of  section  thirty  of
    17  this chapter;
    18    b. notice of all municipal elections, public hearings and public meet-
    19  ings including regular board or legislative meetings;
    20    c.  agenda  and  minutes  of municipal meetings as required by article
    21  seven of the public officers law; and
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 2852--A                          2
     1    d. an up to date version of, or an active hyperlink  to,  the  munici-
     2  pality's codes or local laws and resolutions.
     3    §  2.    Subdivision  7 of section 30 of the general municipal law, as
     4  added by section 10 of part O of chapter 56 of  the  laws  of  2008,  is
     5  amended to read as follows:
     6    7.  [To the extent practicable, each] Each municipal corporation shall
     7  make accessible to the public [via its official internet  web  site]  on
     8  its official municipal website required under article thirteen-E of this
     9  chapter  documentation  pertaining  to  its most recent annual financial
    10  reports, current year budget, most recent independent audit  report  and
    11  most recent fiscal performance plan or multiyear financial plan required
    12  pursuant  to paragraph g of subdivision ten of section fifty-four of the
    13  state finance law, unless such information is covered by subdivision two
    14  of section eighty-seven of the public officers law.
    15    § 3. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after
    16  it shall have become a law.
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