State of New York
COMMITTEE ON OPEN GOVERNMENT
TO: October 3, 2005
FROM: Bob Freeman
SUBJECT: Hearings held by the Temporary State Commission on Lobbying
During our telephone conversation, you referred to §1-d(3) of the Legislative Law concerning the Temporary State Commission on Lobbying. The cited provision states that the Commission "shall have the power and duty to...conduct private and public hearings pursuant to article seven of the public officers law..." As you are aware, Article 7 of the Public Officers Law is the Open Meetings Law.
While hearings are often quasi-judicial and therefore exempt from the coverage of the Open Meetings Law [see Public Officers Law, §108(1)], due to the specific reference in §1-d(3) to the Open Meetings Law, I believe that the Commission’s hearings are required to be held in accordance with that statute. In short, when a statute, such as §1-d(3), provides specific direction, it supersedes a statute pertaining to the same subject area that provides general direction.
I hope that I have been of assistance.