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Bill would require municipalities to maintain websites

Oct 01, 2019 1:00 pm
John Whittaker is reporting for the Post-Journal legislation introduced earlier this year in the state Senate require municipalities to maintain websites. Senate Bill 4908, sponsored by Democrat Sen. James Skoufis of Newburgh, would amend the state’s General Municipal Law by adding a new article titled “Municipal Websites.” The legislation will require municipalities to maintain a website that is publicly accessible and provides important information to residents. Under the measure, municipal websites must contain basic information, financial reports, meeting and election notices, meeting agendas and minutes, and an updated version of local code or laws. The bill references a 2014 Empire Center report that highlighted the poor quality of municipal websites many of which lacked basic information. The report found that less than 20 percent of local governments received a passing grade for availability of information and usability. Two of the municipalities did not have a website. “This report’s findings are troubling,” Skoufis said in his legislative justification. “In 2019, there is no excuse for a municipality not to have a website that is updated regularly and provides citizens with basic information about the operations of their local government,” he said. In the 2014 report, Columbia County earned an "F" and Greene County received a "C" for their respective websites. Read the full story in the Post-Journal.