Friday, October 27, 2006

Making Members Accountable for Controversial Member Items

The Hearst Corporation, which owns the Times Union, won a lawsuit this week against Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno that will help shine a little light in the dank corners of Albany.

Earlier this year, the Times Union learned of several controversial member item projects, but they were thwarted in their attempts to find out which members of the Senate and Assembly had authorized them.

The Brennan Center, the Citizens Budget Commission, Citizens Union, Common Cause NY, the League of Women Voters of NYS, and NYPIRG together submitted an amicus brief discussing how the effective operation and enforcement of the Freedom of Information Law is essential to the ability of citizens to hold their legislators accountable.

The opinion found that Silver and Bruno “failed to articulate a rational basis for redacting the names” and that “the public has a right to know the names of legislators associated with the funding of member item projects.”

This is a great win on behalf of the citizens of New York! Finding out what’s actually happening in Albany is the first step toward fixing it.

Categories: General

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