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Saturday, March 21, 2009

NY Assembly honors Sunshine Week with nine-bill package

The New York Assembly introduced a nine-bill package that would, among other things, permit the recording of public meetings (provided that it is not done in a disruptive way), the North Country Gazette reported. It would also direct agencies to accept public record requests sent via e-mail.
The Assembly says it will honor “Sunshine Week” by passing a series of bills aimed at strengthening the state’s Open Meetings Law, increasing government transparency and ensuring compliance with Freedom of Information laws.

The nine-bill package is intended to promote public awareness of governmental actions and information as the best way to foster better government through increased openness and accountability. Action on the legislation coincides with the annual Sunshine Week, March 15-21, when media around New York State and throughout the country run editorials, columns, cartoons, public forums and news and feature stories that drive public discussion about why open government is important to everyone, not just journalists.

One of the bills would allow any meeting of a public body to be recorded, broadcast and photographed, provided that it is done in a way that is not disruptive to the meeting. Destito noted that technological advances make it possible to record the proceedings of a meeting without detracting from the deliberative process.
More here.

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