The fight for open, transparent government is about empowering you to hold government officials accountable. We can’t expect politicians to police themselves without effective citizen oversight.

To do that, New York needs a stronger Freedom of Information Law (FOIL). Right now, people must be prepared to back up any records requests they send with a lawsuit if a government entity wrongfully denies the request, or tries to wait out the request by taking forever to respond.

Lawsuits cost thousands of dollars, and no New Yorker should be forced to pay a huge expense to get records that should be made public under the law. The barrier of legal costs must be knocked down.

Legislation passed in June (A2750-A/S2392-A) would address this weakness in the law by requiring legal fees to be reimbursed when a plaintiff wins a strong case, “substantially prevails.”

Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Governments should not be able to avoid complying with transparency law by hiding behind legal costs average citizens can’t afford.
  2. There is broad support for this legislation, including 33 media organizations, and over 20 advocacy organizations who focus on a wide variety of issues.
  3. Reclaim New York Initiative applauded passage of the bill. And urged the Governor to sign the bill into law “without delay”. He has done the exact opposite, taking 6 months and counting.

It’s time for you to make your voice heard, and demand Governor Cuomo stop delaying and sign this vital piece of transparency legislation before it is too late!

Here’s what you can do:

Tell Governor Cuomo:

I shouldn’t have to pay thousands of dollars to access public records. Strengthen transparency law, sign FOIL legal fee reimbursement bill now! #A2750A #FOIL

Contact the Governor’s Office through:


Phone: (518) 474-8390

Mail: The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo Governor of New York State NYS State Capitol Building Albany, NY 12224