NY: Gov. Andrew Cuomo signs bill aimed at easing access to public records

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill Wednesday that strengthens the state’s Freedom of Information Law and may make state and local governments think twice before denying access to public records.

Under the new law, judges will be required to award legal fees to any citizen who successfully sues to gain access to state and local government or agency records that should have been public.

The law, which takes effect immediately, would require the public entity that wrongfully denied access to pay the legal fees for the citizen.

Advocates for open government, government reform groups and news organizations across New York had supported the legislation, which passed the Legislature earlier this year.

Cuomo previously vetoed a similar bill in 2015 because of concerns that included an objection to the state Legislature exempting itself from some provisions of the Freedom of Information Law. Read more…