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New law requires public meeting minutes be posted online within 14 days

Nov 15, 2021 5:45 am

Endy Cepeda is reporting for The Legislative Gazette that Gov. Kathy Hochul last week signed legislation into law mandating that minutes of public meetings be posted online within 14 days of a meeting. The legislation originated with the New York Coalition For Open Government, who reached out to Assemblymember Amy Paulin, who introduced the bill in the Assembly, with Sen. Anna Kaplan introducing the bill in the Senate. The new measure is significant because the state's Open Meetings Law does not currently require that meeting minutes be posted online. At present meeting minutes must be available within 14 days of the meeting at the office of the local government or school board if a person requests a copy. But now government bodies with a regularly updated website must post their minutes online within 14 days of the meeting taking place. In an analysis of 20 local governments conducted by the coalition, only 30 percent of local governments posted minutes of the previous meeting before the next meeting occurred. The law does allow an exemption if a government body chooses to post a video or audio recording of the meeting itself. This exemption was met with some criticism from the coalition. Coalition president Paul Wolf said, “It is also important to have a written record of meeting attendance, motions made and votes taken. It is quicker and easier for an organization like ours to monitor compliance with the Open Meetings Law by reviewing meeting minutes or transcripts than it is by viewing several hours of a meeting recording.” Read more at legislative gazette [dot] com.