PUBLIC OFFICERS LAW
Laws 1909, Chap. 51.

AN ACT in relation to public officers, constituting chapter forty-
seven of the consolidated laws.

Became a law February 17, 1909, with the approval of the
Governor. Passed, three-fifths being present.

The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and
Assembly, do enact as follows:

CHAPTER 47 OF THE CONSOLIDATED LAWS
PUBLIC OFFICERS LAW

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ARTICLE 7

OPEN MEETINGS LAW

Section        100. Legislative declaration.

               101. Short title.

               102. Definitions.

               103. Open meetings and executive sessions.

               104. Public notice.

               105. Conduct of executive sessions.

               106. Minutes.

               107. Enforcement.

               108. Exemptions.

               109. Committee on open government.

               110. Construction with other laws.

               111. Severability.

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Sec. 100. Legislative declaration.

It is essential to the maintenance of a democratic society that
the public business be performed in an open and public manner and
that the citizens of this state be fully aware of and able to
observe the performance of public officials and attend and listen
to the deliberations and decisions that go into the making of
public policy. The people must be able to remain informed if they
are to retain control over those who are their public servants.
It is the only climate under which the commonweal will prosper
and enable the governmental process to operate for the benefit of
those who created it.


Sec. 101. Short title.

This article shall be known and may be cited as "Open Meetings
Law".


Sec. 102. Definitions.

As used in this article:

1.   "Meeting" means the official convening of a public body for
     the purpose of conducting public business.

2.   "Public body" means any entity, for which a quorum is
     required in order to conduct public business and which
     consists of two or more members, performing a governmental
     function for the state or for an agency or department
     thereof, or for a public corporation as defined in section
     sixty-six of the general construction law, or committee or
     subcommittee or other similar body of such public body.

3.   "Executive session" means that portion of a meeting not open
     to the general public.


Sec. 103. Open meetings and executive sessions.

(a)  Every meeting of a public body shall be open to the general
     public, except that an executive session of such body may be
     called and business transacted thereat in accordance with
     section ninety-five of this article.

(b)  Public bodies shall make or cause to be made all reasonable
     efforts to ensure that meetings are held in facilities that
     permit barrier-free physical access to the physically
     handicapped, as defined in subdivision five of section fifty
     of the public buildings law.


Sec. 104. Public notice.

1.   Public notice of the time and place of a meeting scheduled
     at least one week prior thereto shall be given to the news
     media and shall be conspicuously posted in one or more
     designated public locations at least seventy-two hours
     before such meeting.

2.   Public notice of the time and place of every other meeting
     shall be given, to the extent practicable, to the news media
     and shall be conspicuously posted in one or more designated
     public locations at a reasonable time prior thereto.

3.   The public notice provided for by this section shall not be
     construed to require publication as a legal notice.


Sec. 105. Conduct of executive sessions.

1.   Upon a majority vote of its total membership, taken in an
     open meeting pursuant to a motion identifying the general
     area or areas of the subject or subjects to be considered, a
     public body may conduct an executive session for the below
     enumerated purposes only, provided, however, that no action
     by formal vote shall be taken to appropriate public moneys:

     a.   matters which will imperil the public safety if
          disclosed;

     b.   any matter which may disclose the identity of a law
          enforcement agent or informer;

     c.   information relating to current or future investigation
          or prosecution of a criminal offense which would
          imperil effective law enforcement if disclosed;

     d.   discussions regarding proposed, pending or current
          litigation;

     e.   collective negotiations pursuant to article fourteen of
          the civil service law;

     f.   the medical, financial, credit or employment history of
          a particular person or corporation, or matters leading
          to the appointment, employment, promotion, demotion,
          discipline, suspension, dismissal or removal of a
          particular person or corporation;

     g.   the preparation, grading or administration of
          examinations; and

     h.   the proposed acquisition, sale or lease of real
          property or the proposed acquisition of securities, or
          sale or exchange of securities held by such public
          body, but only when publicity would substantially
          affect the value thereof.

2.   Attendance at an executive session shall be permitted to any
     member of the public body and any other persons authorized
     by the public body.


Sec. 106. Minutes.

1.   Minutes shall be taken at all open meetings of a public body
     which shall consist of a record or summary of all motions,
     proposals, resolutions and any other matter formally voted
     upon and the vote thereon.

2.   Minutes shall be taken at executive sessions of any action
     that is taken by formal vote which shall consist of a record
     or summary of the final determination of such action, and
     the date and vote thereon; provided, however, that such
     summary need not include any matter which is not required to
     be made public by the freedom of information law as added by
     article six of this chapter.

3.   Minutes of meetings of all public bodies shall be available
     to the public in accordance with the provisions of the
     freedom of information law within two weeks from the date of
     such meeting except that minutes taken pursuant to
     subdivision two hereof shall be available to the public
     within one week from the date of the executive session.


Sec. 107. Enforcement.

1.   Any aggrieved person shall have standing to enforce the
     provisions of this article against a public body by the
     commencement of a proceeding pursuant to article seventy-
     eight of the civil practice law and rules, and/or an action
     for declaratory judgment and injunctive relief. In any such
     action or proceeding, the court shall have the power, in its
     discretion, upon good cause shown, to declare any action or
     part thereof taken in violation of this article void in
     whole or in part.

     An unintentional failure to fully comply with the notice
     provisions required by this article shall not alone be
     grounds for invalidating any action taken at a meeting of a
     public body. The provisions of this article shall not affect
     the validity of the authorization, acquisition, execution or
     disposition of a bond issue or notes.

2.   In any proceeding brought pursuant to this section, costs
     and reasonable attorney fees may be awarded by the court, in
     its discretion, to the successful party.

3.   The statute of limitations in an article seventy-eight
     proceeding with respect to an action taken at executive
     session shall commence to run from the date the minutes of
     such executive session have been made available to the
     public.


Section 108.   Exemptions.

Nothing contained in this article shall be construed as extending
the provisions hereof to:

1.   judicial or quasi-judicial proceedings, except proceedings
     of the public service commission and zoning boards of
     appeals;

2.   a.   deliberations of political committees, conferences
          and caucuses.

     b.   for purposes of this section, the deliberations of
          political committees, conferences and caucuses means a
          private meeting of members of the senate or assembly of
          the state of New York, or of the legislative body of a
          county, city, town or village, who are members or
          adherents of the same political party, without regard
          to (i) the subject matter under discussion, including
          discussions of public business, (ii) the majority or
          minority status of such political committees,
          conferences and caucuses or (iii) whether such
          political committees, conferences and caucuses invite
          staff or guests to participate in their deliberations;
          and

3.   any matter made confidential by federal or state law.


Section 109.   Committee on open government.

The committee on open government, created by paragraph (a) of
subdivision one of section eighty-nine of this chapter, shall
issue advisory opinions from time to time as, in its discretion,
may be required to inform public bodies and persons of the
interpretations of the provisions of the open meetings law.


Sec. 110. Construction with other laws.

1.   Any provision of a charter, administrative code, local law,
     ordinance, or rule or regulation affecting a public body
     which is more restrictive with respect to public access than
     this article shall be deemed superseded hereby to the extent
     that such provision is more restrictive than this article.

2.   Any provision of general, special or local law or charter,
     administrative code, ordinance, or rule or regulation less
     restrictive with respect to public access than this article
     shall not be deemed superseded hereby.

3.   Notwithstanding any provision of this article to the
     contrary, a public body may adopt provisions less
     restrictive with respect to public access than this article.


Sec. 111. Severability.

If any provision of this article or the application thereof to
any person or circumstances is adjudged invalid by a court of
competent jurisdiction, such judgment shall not affect or impair
the validity of the other provisions of the article or the
application thereof to other persons and circumstances.


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