State Senate cellphone ban violates law
Jan 07, 2017 12:10 am
Kirstan Conley reports in The New York Post that the New York State Senate just violated the state's Open Meetings law by passing a rule not allowing cell phone recordings in the Senate chamber. “In my opinion, the rule adopted by the Senate is inconsistent with the Open Meetings Law,” said Robert Freeman, the Executive Director of the Committee on Open Government. “Any meeting of a public body [which includes both houses of the Legislature] that is open to the public shall be open to being photographed, broadcast, webcast, or otherwise recorded and/or transmitted by audio and or video means,” the law states. Republicans voting for the law cited "decorum" as their reason, but Freeman says, “I believe that a rule could validly prohibit the use of a cellphone relative to conversation on a phone or sound created by a phone,” but using phones silently should be allowed. Democratic Sen. Brad Hoylman of Manhattan has asked Freeman's office for a formal opinion on the issue. Read the full story in The New York Post.