Gov. Paterson Increases Public Access at Meetings

Oswego, NY – The big task at hand for state lawmakers in Albany is negotiating a new state budget, which is three weeks overdue.

However, other legislation is still getting passed. Several measures recently signed by Gov. David Paterson aim to increase public access at meetings.

Anyone can record, broadcast, webcast or photograph any public meeting.

Also, a person who wants to attend a meeting can not be turned away for a lack of space.

Assemblywoman Roann Destito from the Utica-Rome area is a co-sponsor of the bills.

She said courts could intervene if these new open meeting rules are violated.

"One allows the courts to overturn government decisions that have been done in violation of the Open Meetings Law and in some cases will remand the decision back to the public official to discuss and act in the public view," said Destito.

In addition, Destito said a judge could order public officials to take compliance training.