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Legislative Package Passes During Sunshine Week In Albany

Sunshine Week Package
Andrei Pronin, AP Photo

Albany, NY (WIBX) – Assemblywoman RoAnn Destito says the passing of a legislative package to increase accountability and government transparency will help shine a light on Albany.

Destito who chairs the Assembly Standing Committee on Government Operations said, “My committee has championed this legislative package because we believe that the public deserves a responsive government that encourages citizen participation and conducts its business in the light of day.”

Destito said this year’s package requires the commissioner of general services to maintain an inventory and audit of every state owned property, to ensure proper management and use. It also changes the current Freedom Of Information Law — requiring agencies to re-apply for FOIL exceptions on a regular basis. The Sunshine Week package also calls for legislative proposal that are to be discussed at open meetings, be made available to the public before such meetings are held.

“And the last piece of legislation that we passed was to limit the time state agencies would have to appeal a judgement against them for Freedom Of Information Laws,” Destito said. The Assemblywoman added that marking Sunshine Week by passing the transparency measures, is to advance the public’s right to know of government decisions, as well as, the right to access information.

According to Destito, Sunshine Week is mark annually on the anniversary of James Madison’s birth, “to enshrine and advance the public’s right to know of government decisions and easily obtain access to information as a cornerstone of democratic government.”

Executive Director of the New York State Department of State’s Committee on Open Government, Robert Freeman, is also credited for his role, working in conjunction with Destito, in constructing the Sunshine Week legislative package.

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