Assemblymember Bronson: Sunshine Bills Help Ensure Officials Act in Public’s Best Interest

Assemblymember Harry B. Bronson (D-Rochester/Chili/Henrietta) announced passage of a series of bills aimed at bringing more transparency, openness and accountability to state government. The bills were passed during “Sunshine Week” (March 12-18), a national campaign to bring more awareness of the importance of an open and transparent government.

“By expanding access and transparency, these bills make it clear to New Yorkers that we are here to work in their best interests,” Bronson said. “I’ll continue to support any sensible measures that make state government more transparent and keep it honest.”

The Assembly’s legislation would:

  • require state agencies to ensure its website allows for online submission of Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests (A.2131);
  • clarify that the name of a retiree in the public employee’s retirement system, but not a beneficiary, is subject to disclosure under FOIL requests (A.3306);
  • prohibit state agencies from inappropriately using copyright claims to deny access to a public record (A.2401);
  • allow records in a judicial proceeding to be made available to the public if the presiding judge determines there is no risk to the proceeding (A.3463);
  • mandate all political communications disclose the identity of the committee or group that finance them (A.2158-A); and
  • require disclosure of identifying information for anyone comprising a limited liability corporation (LLC) that leases space to the state government (A.3242).

“Not only will these bills make New York State government more transparent but as information becomes readily available, government’s effectiveness improves as members are held accountable to the hardworking people they represent,” Bronson added.