senate Bill S6718A
(R, C, IP) 61st Senate District
- In Committee
- On Floor Calendar
- Passed Senate
- Passed Assembly
- Delivered to Governor
- Signed by Governor
Relates to the disclosure of records and meetings by the port authority of New York and New Jersey to the public; provides that the state law with the greatest rights of access shall be deemed to apply where laws conflict.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend chapter 154 of the laws of 1921
relating to the port authority of New York and New Jersey, in relation
to the disclosure of records and meetings
To require that records of the port authority and meetings of the
board and its committees be open to the public.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 - amends Chapter 154 of the Laws of 1921 to provide that
notwithstanding any provision to the contrary, the records of the Port
Authority and meetings of the board, as well as its committees and
subcommittees consisting of two or more commissioners, shall be open
to the public in accordance with the laws of New York, Public Officers
Law, Articles 6, 6-A and 7, and New Jersey, NJSA 47:1A et seq. and
NJSA 10:4-8 et seq., pertaining to the disclosure of government
records and public access to meetings of government bodies. The
section further provides that when there is inconsistency between the
laws of the State of New York and the laws of the State of New Jersey,
the law that provides the greatest rights of access shall be deemed to
apply. Additionally, any aggrieved person shall have standing to seek
to compel compliance with applicable law in either the State of New
York pursuant to Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules or the
State of New Jersey pursuant to NJSA 47: 1-A et seq. and NJSA 10:4-8
et seq. when the laws of either state would authorize the initiation
of such a proceeding.
Section 2 - provides a severability clause. Section 3 - provides the
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (Port Authority) is not
subject to the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) or the Open Public
Records Act (OPRA), respectively, of New York or New Jersey. Although
the Port Authority has established policies regarding access to its
records and opening its meetings, these are simply policies, which can
be ignored or altered at any time, subject only to the discretion of
the board or executive officers then serving. Further, because these
policies cannot be enforced, the Port Authority may choose to withhold
its records and close meetings of its governing body, leaving the
public without recourse if the records are not provided. Finally,
since the Port Authority is a bi-state agency, neither state can
impose its laws beyond its borders.
Recent events involving the Port Authority have highlighted the
necessity of making the Port Authority subject to FOIL and OPRA. This
legislation will ensure that members of the public have access to the
records of the Port Authority and meetings of its board, committees
and subcommittees, and the ability to seek recourse if such access is
denied. The Committee on Open Government has urged that the Port
Authority be subject to FOIL and OPRA, and has been directly involved
in drafting this legislation.
This act shall take effect upon the enactment into law by the State of
New Jersey of legislation having an identical effect with this act,
but if the state of New Jersey shall have already enacted such
legislation, this act shall take effect immediately. The Chairman of
the Port Authority shall notify the Legislative Bill Drafting
Commission upon the enactment into law of such legislation by both
such states in order that the commission may maintain an accurate and
timely effective data base of the official text of the Laws of the
State of New York in furtherance of effecting the provision of section
44 of the Legislative Law and section 70-b of the Public Officers Law.
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