October 21, 2021 Changes to the Open Meetings Law Concerning Documents Scheduled to be Discussed at an Open Meeting
KEEPING YOU INFORMED…
We are writing to advise you that this week, Governor Hochul signed legislation amending the Open Meetings Law (“OML”).
Effective November 18, 2021, upon request and “to the extent practicable,” public entities must make available at least 24 hours prior to an open meeting, copies of the following types of documents if they are “scheduled to be the subject of discussion” by the public body: (1) proposed or amended resolutions, laws, rules, regulations or policies; and (2) records that are available to the public pursuant to the Freedom of Information Law (“FOIL”).
Public entities remain authorized to charge a fee for copies of these documents that is equal to the fee charged for FOIL requests.
In addition, public entities that maintain a “regularly and routinely updated website” and that utilize a high-speed internet connection must, “to the extent practicable,” post these documents to their websites at least 24 hours prior to the open meeting.
Previously, the OML required public entities to make these documents available upon request and to post these documents to their websites “to the extent practicable” prior to or at the meeting (but did not include the new 24-hour provision).
If you have any questions regarding the above or regarding the OML, please contact Lauren Schnitzer, Lindsay Crocker or one of our other attorneys by calling (631) 694-2300.
THIS MEMORANDUM IS MEANT TO ASSIST IN GENERAL UNDERSTANDING OF THE CURRENT LAW. IT IS NOT TO BE REGARDED AS LEGAL ADVICE. THOSE WITH PARTICULAR QUESTIONS SHOULD SEEK THE ADVICE OF COUNSEL.
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