Port Authority Now Covered by Open Records Law

June 30, 2015
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Open Government

Governor Chris Christie late Monday signed legislation that for the first time requires the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey be subject to the New York Freedom of Information Law and the New Jersey Open Public Records Act. Christie signed the Senate concurrence of conditional vetoes he made in the original legislation, S2183/A3350. Christie’s signature comes six months after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed companion legislation, and it was necessary for the law to take effect.

The following statement about the legislation is attributable to ACLU-NJ Legal Director Edward Barocas:

"This new law to make public records more open represents a positive step toward addressing significant and long-standing concerns about the lack of transparency and accountability at the Port Authority, deficiencies that were highlighted in the wake of the ‘Bridgegate’ lane-closure scandal. The law, which the ACLU-NJ supported, ensures that transparency protections will have the force of law and will provide a legal remedy to individuals when record requests are denied.

"While this law shines some disinfecting sunshine on the Port Authority, the work to transform this troubled bi-state agency is not done. The Port Authority is still left to its own devices regarding its public meetings. In order to make the agency more accountable, New Jersey and New York must enact a law that subjects the Port Authority to the same open meetings requirements that all state and local government bodies must follow, and individuals must be provided the right to challenge agency actions that violate those requirements."

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