senate Bill S4904

Amended

Relates to providing notice upon requests for public information regarding certain farm operations

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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

  • 30 / Apr / 2013
    • REFERRED TO AGRICULTURE
  • 11 / Jun / 2013
    • COMMITTEE DISCHARGED AND COMMITTED TO RULES
  • 11 / Jun / 2013
    • ORDERED TO THIRD READING CAL.1286
  • 12 / Jun / 2013
    • PASSED SENATE
  • 12 / Jun / 2013
    • DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • 12 / Jun / 2013
    • REFERRED TO AGRICULTURE
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • DIED IN ASSEMBLY
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • RETURNED TO SENATE
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO AGRICULTURE
  • 09 / Jan / 2014
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO AGRICULTURE
  • 09 / Jan / 2014
    • PRINT NUMBER 4904A
  • 28 / Jan / 2014
    • 1ST REPORT CAL.74
  • 03 / Feb / 2014
    • 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • 04 / Feb / 2014
    • ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • 20 / Jun / 2014
    • COMMITTED TO RULES

Summary

Relates to providing notice upon requests for public information regarding certain farm operations.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A7861
Versions:
S4904
S4904A
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Rules
Law Section:
Agriculture and Markets Law
Laws Affected:
Add §308-b, Ag & Mkts L

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S4904

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the agriculture and markets law, in
relation to requests for public information regarding certain farm
operations

Purpose or General Idea of the Bill: To require notification to the
owners and/or operators of a farm operation when information about
their farm operation has been requested via the Freedom of Information
Law from a state agency or entity.

Summary of Specific Provisions: This bill amends Agriculture and
Markets Law to create a new Section 308-b that requires the owner or
operator of a farm business as defined in Section 301 of Agriculture
and Markets Law to be notified that their farm records or business
information has been requested from a state agency/entity via FOIL
upon submission of the FOIL request to the state agency/entity.

The state agency or entity of which the request has been made shall
inform the farm owner or operator in writing that a request for
records concerning their farm operation has been submitted, provide a
description of records requested and provide the name and address of
the person or entity requesting such records. The farm owner or
operator is to be notified within five business days of submission of
the records request via FOIL inquiry.

EXISTING STATUTE: Currently, state law (Article 6 Public Officers Law
§ 89) dictates that a state agency/entity is required to notify a farm
or any business that its records are being released under a Freedom of
Information Law (FOIL) request when:

1) The records are actually requested via FOIL by a third party, AND

2) Upon initial submission of their business information to the state
agency, the farm has indicated that they are requesting the state
agency/entity consider their information confidential.

If these two conditions are met, the agency/entity will contact the
farm and have them justify their position that their business
information should be exempted from FOIL release because it is
confidential and its release could put their business in a competitive
disadvantage with their peers, consistent with the allowable statutory
exceptions as defined in Public Officers Law (POL) § 87(2)(a-i). The
state agency/entity must then determine whether the farm or business'
request for exception is valid and either approve or reject the
business' request for exemption from FOIL release.

If the agency agrees with the farm or business and denies release of
the requested information under the FOIL, the requesting party may sue
the agency for violating the FOIL. If the agency disagrees with the
farm or business and releases the information, the farm or business
may sue the agency stating that it should fall under the allowable
exceptions to FOIL release listed under POL § 87(2)(a-i).

JUSTIFICATION: This bill ensures that our family farms are alerted to
the fact that their business information has been requested under the
Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) when the inquiry has been made. This


bill in no way hinders the release of FOIL-derived information. It
merely ensures that farmers are made aware of a FOIL inquiry for their
farm information when such a request is made.

Farmers are on the frontlines against natural (i.e. weather, disease,
invasive species) and manmade (i.e. bioterrorism, water contamination)
threats to the local food network that provides affordable, quality,
nutritious food to the State's residents. As skilled, specialized
practitioners, farmers counteract these threats through adaptive farm
management and daily use of Best Management Practices. These farms
rely on the expertise and resources available from the agriculture,
environmental and other state agencies to develop and execute various
aspects of their management plans that are crucial to the health and
safety of the farm, its natural resources and the consumers it
ultimately serves through the local food it produces.

The farm community holds grave concerns that farmers will not utilize
the valuable agricultural, environmental and other state programs
available to them for fear of having their FOIL-derived business
information enable sabotage or harm to the farm and environment on
which the farmer's livelihood depends. With this bill, farmers and
their families will have statutory assurance that they will be alerted
if and when their farm information is requested by a third party and
by whom. This statutory assurance of notification will encourage
farmers to continue to enroll in the successful agricultural,
environmental conservation and other programs that the State and farm
community have mutually developed and invested in over the past twenty
years for the benefit of our family farms, our natural resources and
our consumers.

FISCAL IMPACT: Minimal.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.

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

                                  4904

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                             April 30, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen. MAZIARZ -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Agriculture

AN ACT to amend the agriculture and markets law, in relation to requests
  for public information regarding certain farm operations

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

  Section  1. The agriculture and markets law is amended by adding a new
section 308-b to read as follows:
  S 308-B. NOTIFICATION  OF  FOIL  REQUEST.  NOTWITHSTANDING  ANY  OTHER
PROVISION  OF  LAW,  UPON  THE  REQUEST  OF ANY PERSON OR ENTITY FOR ANY
RECORDS OF A FARM OPERATION, AS DEFINED IN SECTION THREE HUNDRED ONE  OF
THIS  ARTICLE, FROM AN AGENCY OR OTHER STATE ENTITY; THE AGENCY OR STATE
ENTITY OF WHICH THE REQUEST HAS BEEN MADE SHALL INFORM THE OWNER  AND/OR
OPERATOR  OF  SUCH  FARM OPERATION IN WRITING THAT A REQUEST FOR RECORDS
CONCERNING  THEIR  FARM  OPERATION  HAS  BEEN   SUBMITTED,   PROVIDE   A
DESCRIPTION OF RECORDS REQUESTED AND PROVIDE THE NAME AND ADDRESS OF THE
PERSON OR ENTITY REQUESTING SUCH RECORDS. NOTIFICATION OF THE FARM OPER-
ATION  IS  TO BE MADE BY THE AGENCY OR STATE ENTITY WITHIN FIVE BUSINESS
DAYS OF SUBMISSION OF THE RECORDS REQUEST BY THE PERSON OR ENTITY  SEEK-
ING SUCH RECORDS.
  S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.




 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD10677-01-3

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