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December 13, 2017

Governor Cuomo today signed a bill that requires government agencies to reimburse legal fees if they do not comply with reasonable requests under the New York’s Freedom of Information Law (FOIL).

The following statement is attributable to Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union:

“Information is power and this bill is a critical step towards more transparency. Thank you, Governor Cuomo, for signing this common sense law that should make it easier for people to get access to public records. All too often, government agencies delay, redact and out-right deny basic requests for information about how our government works. Through FOIL requests, the NYCLU has made public important information about our state government; everything from data on racial profiling by police, to school discipline policies that disproportionately impact students of color. FOIL is an important tool for significant policy campaigns to protect the rights of New Yorkers. We simply can’t fix what we don’t know is broken.

“This bill sends a strong message that withholding public information from the public comes at a cost. Our democracy will be stronger for it.”

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