Senate Passes Deputy Leader Gianaris’ Ban On Secret Deals

ALBANY, N.Y. – Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris announced the Senate passed his legislation (S.545/A.211) that would ban the state and local governments from entering non-disclosure agreements at the insistence of private corporations engaging in economic development talks.

“New Yorkers deserve full transparency when public dollars are used and private corporations should not have the power to dictate what governments can and cannot do,” said Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris. “I am glad the Senate passed my bill to prohibit non-disclosure agreements in economic development deals.”  

This bill bans the state and local governments from entering non-disclosure agreements at the insistence of private corporations engaging in economic development talks. State freedom of information laws already contain provisions regarding the disclosure of information to the public and exceptions thereto when sensitive data is involved. 

Assembly Member Michaelle Solages said, It is undemocratic for government officials and entities to negotiate deals in secret.  We owe the taxpayers of New York State transparency, and accountability. I am proud to be advocating alongside Senator Gianaris to ban public officials from entering into non-disclosure agreements when negotiating with private companies.”

Pat Garofalo, Director of State and Local Policy at the American Economic Liberties Project said, “Large corporations such as Amazon, in New York and across the country, use corrupt non-disclosure agreements to extract funds from communities without local workers or businesses having any say in the matter. By banning these secret deals, S545 will ensure New Yorkers are not subjected to this offensive and anti-democratic practice. We applaud Deputy Senate Majority Leader Michael Gianaris for his steadfast leadership on this issue, urge the New York Assembly to quickly pass the bill, and hope that other states soon follow New York’s example.”

John Mozena, President of the Center for Economic Accountability said, “When elected officials and bureaucrats sign nondisclosure agreements they’re slamming a door in the public’s face, and nothing good happens when big business and big government get together behind closed doors. New Yorkers deserve transparency and accountability about what’s being done with their tax dollars, and the passage of this legislation today is a meaningful step in that direction.”

Greg LeRoy, Executive Director of Good Jobs First said, “Non-disclosure agreements deny people the right to participate in economic development. Banning NDAs is a necessary first step to getting development deals out of back rooms and into the public square where they belong.”

Helen Brosnan, Executive Director of Fight Corporate Monopolies said, “Under Michael Gianaris’s leadership, today the NY Senate passed an important ban on nondisclosure agreements in economic development deals. This legislation will protect communities from the giant corporations who want to hide the details of their deals from the public. It’s past time that we open up these backroom deals to the scrutiny of taxpayers.”

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