Forecast calls for sunshine
With the legislative session drawing to a close, it appears that a plan to limit New York's Freedom of Information Law has died.
The bill, S.8446/A. 11432, would limit disclosure of correspondence, memoranda, and other documents arising out of an examination, investigation or inquiry and make these documents exempt from freedom of information laws, disclosure under public officers law, or subpoena."
It passed the Senate without a sponsor, which lead NYPIRG's Blair Horner to tell the Albany Times-Union, "that's how you know a bill really stinks."
Robert Freeman, of the Committee of Open Government and New York's resident FOIL expert, told Urbanite that the law was "unnecessary."
"As a principle I don't like to see blanket exemptions. I just don't believe there is a strong rationale for this."
The bill was at the request of the state's Department of Insurance, who wanted to make companies more forthcoming in their insurance disclosures, and feared that they wouldn't be if prying reporters interfered.
"I don't think it's going anywhere in our house," said Assemb. Mark Weprin (D-Little Neck) who serves on the Insurance Committee. "If you believe in open government you have to have serious concerns about this."