A04011 Summary:

BILL NOA04011
 
SAME ASNo Same As
 
SPONSORWright
 
COSPNSRGalef
 
MLTSPNSRDinowitz
 
Amd SS201, 202, 202-b & 202-bb, St Ad Proc Act
 
Provides for the dissemination by state agencies of rule making information through electronic media such as computer bulletin boards, e-mail and other new information technologies; requires state agencies where capable to notify affected parties by electronic mail and make text of certain documents available without cost through electronic methods.
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A04011 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A4011
 
SPONSOR: Wright (MS)
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the state administrative procedure act, in relation to the dissemination of rule making information through electronic media   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill sets forth a legislative policy that state agencies should implement changes in the rule-making process to make greater use of emerging technologies for the exchange of information, such as providing notice and seeking comments through the Internet and other on-line services. A new subdivision 2 is added to § 201 of the State Administrative Procedure Act (SAPA) which provides that agencies shall maximize their use of such technologies as appropriate, and shall include information on such efforts in their annual reports. SAPA § 202(6-a) (b) and (c) are amended to allow agencies to send rule- making information by electronic mail to persons requesting notice in this format. SAPA §§ 202-b and 202-bb are amended to allow agencies to provide copies of regulatory flexibility analyses and rural area flexi- bility analyses via electronic mail to small businesses and affected parties in rural areas, respectively, and to allow dissemination of such information to on-line bulletin boards through the Internet or similar networks. Also, the following provisions of SAPA are amended to include within the "contact person" listings in state agency rule-making notices the fax number and electronic mail address, if available, of the agency contact for a particular rule-making: § 202(1) (d) (viii), § 202(4-a) (c) (vii), § 202 (5) (c) (viii), and § 202 (6) (d) (x).   SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: The amendments to SAPA § 202 (6-a) (b) are replaced with new statutory language in (b) providing that agen- cies with the technological capacity to do so shall make copies of the text of rules and rule-making documents available to publicly accessible on-line services. This renders the previous amendment to subdivision (c) unnecessary. This approach will enable persons utilizing these services to access this information without the need to make any requests directly to the agency, and, by reducing the need to respond to individual requests for information, will reduce the agency's workload. This approach will make information on regulatory policy more accessible while lowering the cost of government. The effective date is amended to be October 1, 2000.   EFFECTS OF PRESENT LAW WHICH THIS BILL WOULD ALTER: Currently, there is no provision in SAPA regarding the use of these information technolo- gies in the rule-making process.   JUSTIFICATION: The growing use of computers in homes, schools and offices and the emergence of new information and communications technol- ogies offers an opportunity to provide additional avenues for the provision of information to the public concerning state agency rule-mak- ing activities, and for providing public input back to the agency on the merits of proposed rules. SAPA, which is geared towards ensuring that the rule-making process remains open and accountable, should not be technology-limiting, but instead should allow agencies to make use of every technology with the potential for enhancing public participation in the development of regulatory policies. This bill does not mandate that an agency use any particular type of information technology, but does encourage each agency to make maximum use of the technological capabilities it does possess to implement SAPA's goals.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2013-2014: A2934 2011-2012; A.5300 2010: A5300 2009: A5300 2008: A1053 2007: A1053 2005-2006: A.782 2003-2004: A.1774 2001-2002: A.5857 passed assembly 1999-2000: A.1477 1997-1998: A. 4595 1995-1996: A. 7754-B 6/1/95: Passed Assembly, died in Senate Rules Committee.   FISCAL IMPLICATION: None.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
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A04011 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                          4011
 
                               2015-2016 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                    January 28, 2015
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by  M. of A. WRIGHT, GALEF -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A.
          DINOWITZ -- read once and referred to the  Committee  on  Governmental
          Operations
 
        AN  ACT  to amend the state administrative procedure act, in relation to
          the dissemination of rule making information through electronic media
 
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section  1.  The legislature finds and declares that the accessibility
     2  to the public of information concerning  the  regulatory  activities  of
     3  state  agencies,  and the ability of the public to communicate its views
     4  to state agencies in order to ensure that such policies  are  reflective
     5  of the people's interests, concerns and knowledge are essential elements
     6  of  open  and democratic government.  Technological changes, such as the
     7  expansion of  on-line  services,  computer  bulletin  boards  and  other
     8  aspects  of the "information superhighway", offer the state new opportu-
     9  nities to provide additional means of  ensuring  the  accessibility  and
    10  accountability of agencies to the public. Therefore, it is the intent of
    11  the legislature that agencies maximize their use of such technologies as
    12  appropriate  to  provide  for  greater  participation in the rule making
    13  process.
    14    § 2. The opening paragraph of section 201 of the state  administrative
    15  procedure  act  is  designated  subdivision 1 and a new subdivision 2 is
    16  added to read as follows:
    17    2. Agencies subject to the provisions of this chapter  shall  maximize
    18  their  use of information technologies, including but not limited to the
    19  internet and other on-line services, computer bulletin boards, electron-
    20  ic mail and advanced telecommunications technologies, as appropriate, to
    21  provide for greater participation in the rule making process. Each agen-
    22  cy shall include a summary of its efforts in this regard in  its  annual
    23  report.
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD05279-01-5

        A. 4011                             2
 
     1    §  3.  Paragraph  (b)  of  subdivision 6-a of section 202 of the state
     2  administrative procedure act, as amended by chapter 171 of the  laws  of
     3  1994, is amended to read as follows:
     4    (b)  An agency shall make a copy of the complete text of any proposed,
     5  adopted or emergency rule, regulatory impact statement, regulatory flex-
     6  ibility analysis, rural area flexibility analysis, or revisions  thereof
     7  available  to the public at the time such documents are submitted to the
     8  secretary of state for publication in the state register [and shall send
     9  to any person a copy of such text upon written request].   The  text  of
    10  any  proposed,  adopted  or emergency rule, regulatory impact statement,
    11  regulatory flexibility analysis, rural  area  flexibility  analysis,  or
    12  revisions thereof shall be made available by an agency through all means
    13  available to the agency, including the use of facsimile transmissions or
    14  other  electronic methods, to any member of the public who requests such
    15  text. There shall be no charge for providing a copy of such text to  any
    16  member  of  the  public,  except  that, at the discretion of the agency,
    17  there may be a charge for facsimile transmission.
    18    § 4. Paragraph (c) of subdivision 6-a of  section  202  of  the  state
    19  administrative  procedure  act,  as  added by chapter 850 of the laws of
    20  1990, is amended to read as follows:
    21    (c) An agency shall notify every person who has  submitted  a  written
    22  request  to  be  notified  of  all  proposed,  revised, emergency and/or
    23  adopted rules which may affect  such  person.    [Such]  An  agency  may
    24  provide  the  text  of  all  proposed, revised, emergency and/or adopted
    25  rules to persons who request such text orally.   Written requests  shall
    26  expire  annually  on  the thirty-first day of December with renewals for
    27  the succeeding year to be accepted on or after December first unless the
    28  agency automatically renews such requests.   [Notices] The text  of  any
    29  proposed,  adopted or emergency rule, regulatory impact statement, regu-
    30  latory  flexibility  analysis,  rural  area  flexibility  analysis,   or
    31  revisions  thereof  issued  pursuant  to [such] written or oral requests
    32  shall be sent [in writing] by mail by the agency  to  the  last  address
    33  specified  by  the  person, whenever such person has requested that such
    34  text be mailed.   An  agency  may  charge  any  person  requesting  such
    35  [notice]  text a fee consisting of the cost of preparation, handling and
    36  postage.  The text may also be provided by any other means available  to
    37  the  agency, including the use of facsimile transmissions or other elec-
    38  tronic methods, and a reasonable fee may  be  charged  therefor  at  the
    39  discretion of the agency.
    40    § 5. Subdivision 6 of section 202-b of the state administrative proce-
    41  dure  act,  as amended by chapter 611 of the laws of 1996, is amended to
    42  read as follows:
    43    6. When any rule is proposed for which a regulatory flexibility analy-
    44  sis is required, the agency shall assure that small businesses and local
    45  governments have been given an opportunity to participate  in  the  rule
    46  making through such activities as:
    47    (a)  the  publication of a general notice for the proposed rule making
    48  in publications likely to be obtained  by  small  businesses  and  local
    49  governments of the types affected by the proposed rule;
    50    (b)  the  direct notification of interested small businesses and local
    51  governments affected by the proposed rule including,  where  the  agency
    52  has  the  technological  capability to do so, notification by electronic
    53  mail;
    54    (c) the dissemination of such information to on-line  bulletin  boards
    55  over the internet or similar data communications networks;

        A. 4011                             3
 
     1    (d)  the  conduct  of special open conferences concerning the proposed
     2  rule for small businesses and local governments affected  by  the  rule;
     3  and
     4    [(d)]  (e)  the adoption or modification of agency procedural rules to
     5  reduce the cost or complexity of participation in  the  rule  making  by
     6  small businesses and local governments.
     7    §  6.  Subdivision  7  of  section  202-bb of the state administrative
     8  procedure act, as added by chapter 171 of the laws of 1994,  is  amended
     9  to read as follows:
    10    7. When any rule is proposed for which a rural area flexibility analy-
    11  sis  is required, the agency shall assure that public and private inter-
    12  ests in rural areas have been given an opportunity to participate in the
    13  rule making through such activities as:
    14    (i) the publication of a general notice of the proposed rule making;
    15    (ii) notification of public  and  private  interests  in  rural  areas
    16  directly  affected  by the proposed rule including, where the agency has
    17  the technological capability to do so, notification by electronic mail;
    18    (iii) the dissemination of such information to on-line bulletin boards
    19  over the internet or similar data communications networks, including but
    20  not limited to the rural assistance information network or any successor
    21  network;
    22    (iv) the conduct of special public hearings or meetings concerning the
    23  proposed rule for those public and private  interests  affected  by  the
    24  rule; and
    25    [(iv)]  (v)  the  adoption  or modification of agency procedural rules
    26  that will minimize the cost or complexity of participation in  the  rule
    27  making.
    28    § 7. This act shall take effect immediately.
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