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New York, N.Y. (October 28, 2021) – Citizens Union releases the following statement from Executive Director Betsy Gotbaum in response to reforms announced today by Governor Kathy Hochul that will increase transparency and accountability in state government:

“We applaud Governor Hochul for these positive steps, which we hope will be the beginning of a new approach to transparency and data sharing in New York State government. The establishment and release of recusal policies regarding the Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Secretary to the Governor is an important acknowledgement that New Yorkers need to have full confidence their public officials are acting solely in the public interest. Having every agency publish a transparency plan is a key measure toward government transparency, and we encourage the Governor to follow through to ensure these plans are fully implemented.”

“The Governor also should be commended for taking on the challenge of improving the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) process, which has historically been a thorn for both good government groups and journalists. We would like to see the state move to an open FOIL portal where all requests and response records are publicly available, and work to ensure that requests are responded to in a timely manner.”

About Citizens Union 
For over 120 years, Citizens Union has been a force for transparency, accountability and ethics in New York’s City and State governments. A nonpartisan organization, some of our current initiatives include the election info hub, a new agenda for police accountability, and increasing civic engagement. Learn more at


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