Governor Hochul Signs Legislation Requiring Advance Release of Documents Discussed at Public Meetings

By Alexis M. Florczak, Esq.

On October 19, 2021, Governor Hochul signed legislation to amend the Open Meetings Law. Specifically, documents to be discussed at open meetings are to be made available to the public upon request or on an agency’s website at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting. These documents can include proposed rules, resolutions, or regulations that municipal boards, IDAs, public authorities and other public entities may discuss in the course of a meeting.  Previously, the Open Meetings Law gave public entities the discretion to determine whether to release documents to the public in advance of any meetings; accordingly, this newly signed legislation removes this discretion from public bodies and requires these documents to be posted and made available to the public prior to the public meeting.

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