Senate Passes Measures to Make the Regulatory Process More Transparent and Accessible

June 01, 2016

The New York State Senate today passed four bills to help make the regulatory process in New York more transparent and accessible. The bills, sponsored by Senator Terrence Murphy (R-C-I, Yorktown), would amend the State Administrative Procedure Act (SAPA) to extend the amount of time the public has to comment on a proposed rule and creates new standards for publishing information online. 

Senator Murphy said, “Given our increasing reliance on electronic media in the public and legislative sectors there is no reason that rulemaking information should not be made more accessible online. Passage of this legislation will make the regulatory process in New York more timely and effective.”

The bills passed today would help to improve the process the state undergoes when enacting new or amending existing rules and regulations. These measures would make the state’s information more available for public review, and include:   

S5418A: Extends the public comment period in the State Register from 45 days to 60 days to allow interested parties time to submit detailed responses to proposed rules and regulations. By extending the deadline, the community affected by the regulations will have a greater opportunity to address concerns with a proposal, allowing state agencies to craft the most responsible and comprehensive rules and regulations;  

S7096: Creates minimum standards for posting of information on a state website that is summarized or referenced in the State Register. The state would have to post the full text of a proposed rule no later than the date of publication of the notice and provide detailed information about where the public can access the information. These requirements would prevent the untimely posting of proposed rules and make it easier for the public to find specifics; 

S7097: Requires a proposed or revised rule or another regulatory document’s full text to be posted on the applicable state agency’s website. No web posting is currently required for a revised rule - even if the text has been extensively revised - or for regulatory impact statements, job impact statements, or flexibility analyses for small businesses, local governments, or rural areas. Since the State Register is already available online, requiring relevant documents that are only summarized in that publication to also be posted online will make the regulatory process in New York more transparent; and 

S7098: Requires the full text of every emergency rule to be readily available to the public, either through publication in the State Register or posting on the applicable state agency’s website. It is particularly important for regulated parties and the public to obtain timely access to rules that required immediate adoption through an emergency rulemaking process.

The bills have been sent to the Assembly. 

Senators Involved