senate Bill S1772

2011-2012 Legislative Session

Expands the definition of "public body"

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


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

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Actions

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 04, 2012 referred to investigations and government operations
Jan 12, 2011 referred to investigations and government operations

S1772 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A74
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Public Officers Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยง102, Pub Off L
Versions Introduced in 2009-2010 Legislative Session:
A3081, S3247

S1772 - Bill Texts

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Relates to expanding the definition of "public body".

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S1772

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the public officers law, in relation to the
definition of a "public body"

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
This bill will require that entities with two or more members created
by executive order of the governor are subject to the Open Meetings
Law.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section one of the bill amends subdivision two of section 102 of the
public officers law to require that entities consisting of two or
more members created by executive order of the Governor are included
in the definition of a "public body" and therefore subject to the
provisions of the Open Meetings Law. Section two of the bill provides
the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION:
Executive Order
3 from January 1, 2007,
states, "It is essential to
the maintenance of a democratic society that the public business be
performed in an open and public manner; and the citizens of this
State be fully aware of and able to observe the performances of
public officials and attend and listen to the deliberations and
decisions that go into the making of public policy; and the people
must be able to remain informed if they are to retain control over
those who are their public servants; and the Open Meetings Law
requires every meeting of a public body shall be open to the general
public." The above referenced Executive Order was endorsed by former
Governor Eliot Spitzer in an effort to achieve openness and
transparency in access to the governmental decision-making process.
Notwithstanding this stated policy, the Commission on Local
Government Efficiency and Competitiveness, created by the former
Governor Spitzer under Executive Order
11 on April 23, 2007, has
operated and conducted its business behind closed doors, excluding
interested parties who have attempted to attend its sessions. For
example, two representatives of the Nassau County Village Officials
Association were asked to leave the January 23, 2008 meeting of t
he Commission and, according to press reports, were told by a senior
advisor to the Governor that the Commission's meetings were not
subject to the State's Open Meetings Law, In addition, they were
directed to an opinion furnished by the Governor's Counsel's Office.
The Counsel's opinion was based on a 22 year-old State Supreme Court
case, not reviewed at the appellate level, involving an advisory
commission on liability insurance. The trial court held that because
the advisory commission lacked power to transact public business, and
had no direct impact on the functioning of the government of the
state, it was not subject to the Open Meetings Law. Irrespective of
that court case, the issue is not whether the proceedings of a major
advisory commission must be open to the public, but whether it should
be open to the public. Clearly, the work


of the Commission on Local Government Efficiency and Competitiveness
is very significant and important, and is likely to have profound
effects on the functioning of government. This commission and others
similarly formed and tasked must and should be open to public scrutiny.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2009-10: Referred to Investigations & Government Operations
A.11085, 2008 Referred to Rules. Same as S.7424A, 2008 passed senate.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect immediately.

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

                                  1772

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            January 12, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen. PERKINS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Investigations and Govern-
  ment Operations

AN ACT to amend the public officers law, in relation to  the  definition
  of a "public body"

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

  Section 1. Subdivision 2 of section 102 of the public officers law, as
amended by chapter 704 of the laws of 1979 and such  section  as  renum-
bered by chapter 652 of the laws of 1983, is amended to read as follows:
  2.  "Public  body" means any entity, for which a quorum is required in
order to conduct public business and  which  consists  of  two  or  more
members,  performing  a  governmental  function  for the state or for an
agency or department thereof, or for a public corporation as defined  in
section  sixty-six  of  the  general  construction  law, or committee or
subcommittee or other similar body of such public body, AND  ANY  ENTITY
CONSISTING  OF  TWO  OR  MORE  MEMBERS CREATED BY EXECUTIVE ORDER OF THE
GOVERNOR.
  S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.





 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD00906-01-1

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