New York Gov. David Paterson has shot down a plan to boost enforcement provisions of the state’s open meetings law, in particular by setting up fines of up to $500 for government bodies that violate it, Newsday reports.
Paterson explained his veto as stemming from technical faults with the legislation: "The most problematic aspect of the bill is that civil penalties would be imposed upon local governments, which means taxpayers would ultimately be responsible for the bill," he said, according to the paper. Open government advocates saw the measure as a beneficial means of oversight.
"The goal here is not to collect fines," Assemblywoman Susan John told Newsday. "The goal here is to have the towns behave, have government behave, in a certain way."