Good-government organizations urged Gov. Kathy Hochul on Thursday to put New York's transparency panel at full strength.
The Committee on Open Government is meant to provide guidance for the state's open meetings laws as well as Freedom of Information Law for access to public records.
At the moment, the governor has appointed three out of five members to the committee (one of the two vacant seats is meant for a representative of the media as a "stakeholder" for the panel).
"Leaving these positions vacant deprives these stakeholder groups of a valuable avenue for input into the crafting and implementation of important public policy," the groups wrote in a letter.
Signing onto the request: Reinvent Albany, the League of Women Voters, Common Cause New York, the Empire Center for Public Policy and the New York Public Interest Research Group.
The open government committee was first formed in 1974 as a way to provide advisory opinions as well as training for the state's open access laws and provisions. The committee does not have the power to enforce the law, but has been considered helpful to those seeking interpretation of the law.