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Albany County legislators keep budget vote secret

Dec 10, 2015 12:02 am
Jordan Carleo-Evangelist reports in the Albany Times-Union that the Albany County Legislature voted Dec. 8 for a $610 million budget, breaking the open meetings law by holding a voice vote. Because the County Legislature adopted the budget by a voice vote, the public cannot look up which legislators voted for and against the budget. Robert Freeman, executive director of the state’s Committee on Open Government, cited Section 83(3)(a) of state Freedom of Information Law, when asked about the vote, saying it requires, “a record of the final vote of each member in every agency proceeding in which the member votes.” He further explained, “Unless it’s unanimous, it fails to comply with law.... There must be a record that indicates how each member voted.” Legislature Chairman Shawn Morse said, "Last night you had 70 resolutions. We would have been there for five-six hours.” Albany County lawmakers have held roll call votes on every budget since at least 2006. Read the full story in the Albany Times-Union.