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Senate passes “Sunshine Week” Bill to increase public access to legislative proceedings

ALBANY - The New York State Senate this week passed legislation to make state legislative proceedings more open and transparent by expanding public access to session, committee meetings, and votes. The bill (S3046C), sponsored by Senator Carl Marcellino (R, Syosset), requires the webcasting and archiving of Senate and Assembly committees and hearings and the online posting of votes taken in committees or on the floor.

“The Senate has already taken administrative steps to create a more transparent Legislative body, and this bill formalizes the process by putting it into a law that both houses must abide by,” said Senator Marcellino, Chairman of the Committee on Investigations and Government Operations. “Providing the public with the tools that help them become informed about the legislative process is important, and the Assembly should join us to pass this bill.”

The Senate website - www.nysenate.gov/ - enables the public to learn more about their legislative representatives and also includes archived videos of session and committee meetings, and committee and floor vote records. The bill passed this week would require both houses to post this information on their respective websites.

The bill has bipartisan support and is sponsored in the Assembly (A2097C) by Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi (D, Queens).