Governor Cuomo Signs Assemblywoman Amy Paulin’s Port Authority Bill

SCARSDALE – New York State Assemblywoman Amy Paulin (D-88) is pleased to announce that A.8785-C/S.6718-C, which she authored during the 2014 legislative session, was signed into law Saturday night by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The bill, if signed into law in New Jersey, will subject the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) in New York and the Open Public Records Act (OPRA) in New Jersey. Without enactment of this bill into law in both states, the Port Authority, a bi-state agency, is not subject to either law. The bill, which unanimously passed the State legislatures in New York and New Jersey, requires the approval of both governors and still needs to be signed by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in order to be effective in both states.

While the Port Authority may have a policy regarding access to its records, policies can be ignored or altered at any time and are unenforceable, which allows the Port Authority to withhold records and prevent the public from gaining access to its records.

“I am extremely happy that Governor Cuomo endorsed this legislation,” Paulin said. “Recent events involving the Port Authority, most notably Bridgegate, highlighted the need for the Port Authority to provide the public with access to its records. With Governor Christie's signature, we will finally be able to ensure access to the records of Port Authority and bring transparency and accountability to the Port Authority.”

Senator Michael Ranzenhofer (R-61) sponsored the bill in the New York State Senate. Senator Robert Gordon sponsored the bill in the New Jersey State Senate while Assembly Member Valerie Vainieri Huttle was the sponsor in the New Jersey State Assembly.