senate Bill S4177

Provides for the dissemination of rule making information through electronic media

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 13 / Mar / 2013
    • REFERRED TO COMMERCE, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND SMALL BUSINESS
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO COMMERCE, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND SMALL BUSINESS

Summary

Provides for the dissemination by state agencies of rule making information through electronic media such as computer bulletin boards, e-mail and other new information technologies; requires state agencies where capable to notify affected parties by electronic mail and make text of certain documents available without cost through electronic methods.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A2934
Versions:
S4177
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Commerce, Economic Development And Small Business
Law Section:
State Administrative Procedure Act
Laws Affected:
Amd §§201, 202, 202-b & 202-bb, St Ad Proc Act
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2011-2012: A5300, A5300
2009-2010: A1419, A1419
2007-2008: A1053, A1053

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S4177

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the state administrative procedure
act, in relation to the dissemination of rule making information
through electronic media

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill sets forth a legislative
policy that state agencies should implement changes in the rule-making
process to make greater use of emerging technologies for the exchange
of information, such as providing notice and seeking comments through
the Internet and other on-line services. A new subdivision 2 is added
to § 201 of the State Administrative Procedure Act (SAPA) which
provides that agencies shall maximize their use of such technologies
as appropriate, and shall include information on such efforts in their
annual reports. SAPA § 202(6-a) (b) and (c) are amended to allow
agencies to send rule-making information by electronic mail to persons
requesting notice in this format. SAPA §§ 202-b and 202-bb are amended
to allow agencies to provide copies of regulatory flexibility analyses
and rural area flexibility analyses via electronic mail to small
businesses and affected parties in rural areas, respectively, and to
allow dissemination of such information to on-line bulletin boards
through the Internet or similar networks.

Also, the following provisions of SAPA are amended to include within
the "contact person" listings in state agency rule-making notices the
fax number and electronic mail address, if available, of the agency
contact for a particular rule-making: § 202(1) (d) (viii), § 202(4-a)
(c) (vii), § 202 (5) (c) (viii), and § 202 (6) (d) (x)

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: The amendments to SAPA § 202 (6-a)
(b) are replaced with new statutory language in (b) providing that
agencies with the technological capacity to do so shall make copies of
the text of rules and rule-making documents available to publicly
accessible on-line services. This renders the previous amendment to
subdivision (c) unnecessary. This approach will enable persons
utilizing these services to access this information without the need
to make any requests directly to the agency, and, by reducing the need
to respond to individual requests for information, will reduce the
agency's workload. This approach will make information on regulatory
policy more accessible while lowering the cost of government. The
effective date is amended to be October 1, 2000.

EFFECTS OF PRESENT LAW WHICH THIS BILL WOULD ALTER: Currently, there
is no provision in SAPA regarding the use of these information
technologies in the rule-making process.

JUSTIFICATION: The growing use of computers in homes, schools and
offices and the emergence of new information and communications
technologies offers an opportunity to provide additional avenues for
the provision of information to the public concerning state agency
rule-making activities, and for providing public input back to the
agency on the merits of proposed rules. SAPA, which is geared towards
ensuring that the rule-making process remains open and accountable,
should not be technology-limiting, but instead should allow agencies
to make use of every technology with the potential for enhancing
public participation in the development of regulatory policies. This


bill does not mandate that an agency use any particular type of
information technology, but does encourage each agency to make maximum
use of the technological capabilities it does possess to implement
SAPA's goals.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2011-2012; A.5300 2010: A5300 2009: A5300
2008: A1053 2007: A1053 2005-2006: A.782 2003-2004: A.1774 2001-2002:
A.5857 passed assembly 1999-2000: A.1477 1997-1998: A. 4595 1995-1996:
A 7754-B 6/1/95: Passed Assembly, died in Senate Rules Committee.

FISCAL IMPLICATION: None.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  4177

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                             March 13, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen. VALESKY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Commerce, Economic  Devel-
  opment and Small Business

AN  ACT  to amend the state administrative procedure act, in relation to
  the dissemination of rule making information through electronic media

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1.  The legislature finds and declares that the accessibility
to the public of information concerning  the  regulatory  activities  of
state  agencies,  and the ability of the public to communicate its views
to state agencies in order to ensure that such policies  are  reflective
of the people's interests, concerns and knowledge are essential elements
of  open  and democratic government.  Technological changes, such as the
expansion of  on-line  services,  computer  bulletin  boards  and  other
aspects  of the "information superhighway", offer the state new opportu-
nities to provide additional means of  ensuring  the  accessibility  and
accountability of agencies to the public. Therefore, it is the intent of
the legislature that agencies maximize their use of such technologies as
appropriate  to  provide  for  greater  participation in the rule making
process.
  S 2. The opening paragraph of section 201 of the state  administrative
procedure  act  is  designated  subdivision 1 and a new subdivision 2 is
added to read as follows:
  2. AGENCIES SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS CHAPTER  SHALL  MAXIMIZE
THEIR  USE OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE
INTERNET AND OTHER ON-LINE SERVICES, COMPUTER BULLETIN BOARDS, ELECTRON-
IC MAIL AND ADVANCED TELECOMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGIES, AS APPROPRIATE, TO
PROVIDE FOR GREATER PARTICIPATION IN THE RULE MAKING PROCESS. EACH AGEN-
CY SHALL INCLUDE A SUMMARY OF ITS EFFORTS IN THIS REGARD IN  ITS  ANNUAL
REPORT.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD00828-01-3

S. 4177                             2

  S  3.  Paragraph  (b)  of  subdivision 6-a of section 202 of the state
administrative procedure act, as amended by chapter 171 of the  laws  of
1994, is amended to read as follows:
  (b)  An agency shall make a copy of the complete text of any proposed,
adopted or emergency rule, regulatory impact statement, regulatory flex-
ibility analysis, rural area flexibility analysis, or revisions  thereof
available  to the public at the time such documents are submitted to the
secretary of state for publication in the state register [and shall send
to any person a copy of such text upon written request].   THE  TEXT  OF
ANY  PROPOSED,  ADOPTED  OR EMERGENCY RULE, REGULATORY IMPACT STATEMENT,
REGULATORY FLEXIBILITY ANALYSIS, RURAL  AREA  FLEXIBILITY  ANALYSIS,  OR
REVISIONS THEREOF SHALL BE MADE AVAILABLE BY AN AGENCY THROUGH ALL MEANS
AVAILABLE TO THE AGENCY, INCLUDING THE USE OF FACSIMILE TRANSMISSIONS OR
OTHER  ELECTRONIC METHODS, TO ANY MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC WHO REQUESTS SUCH
TEXT. THERE SHALL BE NO CHARGE FOR PROVIDING A COPY OF SUCH TEXT TO  ANY
MEMBER  OF  THE  PUBLIC,  EXCEPT  THAT, AT THE DISCRETION OF THE AGENCY,
THERE MAY BE A CHARGE FOR FACSIMILE TRANSMISSION.
  S 4. Paragraph (c) of subdivision 6-a of  section  202  of  the  state
administrative  procedure  act,  as  added by chapter 850 of the laws of
1990, is amended to read as follows:
  (c) An agency shall notify every person who has  submitted  a  written
request  to  be  notified  of  all  proposed,  revised, emergency and/or
adopted rules which may affect  such  person.    [Such]  AN  AGENCY  MAY
PROVIDE  THE  TEXT  OF  ALL  PROPOSED, REVISED, EMERGENCY AND/OR ADOPTED
RULES TO PERSONS WHO REQUEST SUCH TEXT ORALLY.   WRITTEN requests  shall
expire  annually  on  the thirty-first day of December with renewals for
the succeeding year to be accepted on or after December first UNLESS THE
AGENCY AUTOMATICALLY RENEWS SUCH REQUESTS.   [Notices] THE TEXT  OF  ANY
PROPOSED,  ADOPTED OR EMERGENCY RULE, REGULATORY IMPACT STATEMENT, REGU-
LATORY  FLEXIBILITY  ANALYSIS,  RURAL  AREA  FLEXIBILITY  ANALYSIS,   OR
REVISIONS  THEREOF  issued  pursuant  to [such] WRITTEN OR ORAL requests
shall be sent [in writing] BY MAIL BY THE AGENCY  to  the  last  address
specified  by  the  person, WHENEVER SUCH PERSON HAS REQUESTED THAT SUCH
TEXT BE MAILED.   An  agency  may  charge  any  person  requesting  such
[notice]  TEXT a fee consisting of the cost of preparation, handling and
postage.  THE TEXT MAY ALSO BE PROVIDED BY ANY OTHER MEANS AVAILABLE  TO
THE  AGENCY, INCLUDING THE USE OF FACSIMILE TRANSMISSIONS OR OTHER ELEC-
TRONIC METHODS, AND A REASONABLE FEE MAY  BE  CHARGED  THEREFOR  AT  THE
DISCRETION OF THE AGENCY.
  S 5. Subdivision 6 of section 202-b of the state administrative proce-
dure  act,  as amended by chapter 611 of the laws of 1996, is amended to
read as follows:
  6. When any rule is proposed for which a regulatory flexibility analy-
sis is required, the agency shall assure that small businesses and local
governments have been given an opportunity to participate  in  the  rule
making through such activities as:
  (a)  the  publication of a general notice for the proposed rule making
in publications likely to be obtained  by  small  businesses  and  local
governments of the types affected by the proposed rule;
  (b)  the  direct notification of interested small businesses and local
governments affected by the proposed rule INCLUDING,  WHERE  THE  AGENCY
HAS  THE  TECHNOLOGICAL  CAPABILITY TO DO SO, NOTIFICATION BY ELECTRONIC
MAIL;
  (c) THE DISSEMINATION OF SUCH INFORMATION TO ON-LINE  BULLETIN  BOARDS
OVER THE INTERNET OR SIMILAR DATA COMMUNICATIONS NETWORKS;

S. 4177                             3

  (D)  the  conduct  of special open conferences concerning the proposed
rule for small businesses and local governments affected  by  the  rule;
and
  [(d)]  (E)  the adoption or modification of agency procedural rules to
reduce the cost or complexity of participation in  the  rule  making  by
small businesses and local governments.
  S  6.  Subdivision  7  of  section  202-bb of the state administrative
procedure act, as added by chapter 171 of the laws of 1994,  is  amended
to read as follows:
  7. When any rule is proposed for which a rural area flexibility analy-
sis  is required, the agency shall assure that public and private inter-
ests in rural areas have been given an opportunity to participate in the
rule making through such activities as:
  (i) the publication of a general notice of the proposed rule making;
  (ii) notification of public  and  private  interests  in  rural  areas
directly  affected  by the proposed rule INCLUDING, WHERE THE AGENCY HAS
THE TECHNOLOGICAL CAPABILITY TO DO SO, NOTIFICATION BY ELECTRONIC MAIL;
  (iii) THE DISSEMINATION OF SUCH INFORMATION TO ON-LINE BULLETIN BOARDS
OVER THE INTERNET OR SIMILAR DATA COMMUNICATIONS NETWORKS, INCLUDING BUT
NOT LIMITED TO THE RURAL ASSISTANCE INFORMATION NETWORK OR ANY SUCCESSOR
NETWORK;
  (IV) the conduct of special public hearings or meetings concerning the
proposed rule for those public and private  interests  affected  by  the
rule; and
  [(iv)]  (V)  the  adoption  or modification of agency procedural rules
that will minimize the cost or complexity of participation in  the  rule
making.
  S 7. This act shall take effect immediately.

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