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Senate committee approves FOIL expansion

May 14, 2019 2:30 pm
David Lombardo is reporting for Capitol Confidential legislation advanced on May 13, by the state Senate Investigations and Government Operations Committee, would prevent law enforcement agencies from using ongoing judicial proceedings as an excuse for rejecting freedom of information requests. New York currently gives law enforcement the discretion to decide if disclosing public information would interfere with an ongoing judicial proceeding. The proposed measure also amends language in state law that has given public entities the ability to deny requests for records compiled as part of a criminal investigation, even though the information was prepared in the ordinary course of business, such as meeting minutes. The memorandum accompanying the bill asserts that FOIL is being twisted by government agencies to withhold records or parts of records. Supporters of the legislation are optimistic about its passage before the end of the legislative session in June. Read the full story at Capitol Confidential, a Times Union blog.