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New York State’s Freedom of Information Law at 40 – a timeline detailing the evolution of FOIL



Note: Prior to enactment of Freedom of Information Law in 1974 and Open Meetings Law in 1977, there was no general public right of access to government records or meetings of government bodies.


February 1, 1973 – Assemblyman Taylor introduced an act to amend the Public Officers Law in relation to public access to records of state and local agencies, and to repeal §66 and §66(a) of such law.


May 29, 1974 – Governor Malcolm Wilson approves legislation to enact Freedom of Information Law, known widely as “FOIL”. FOIL created the Committee on Public Access to Records, known widely then as “COPAR.” Committee housed, by law, in the Office of General Services.


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