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State assemblywoman proposes law to livestream IDA meetings

Assemb. Michaelle Solages, seen here on Dec. 11,

Assemb. Michaelle Solages, seen here on Dec. 11, 2017, has proposed a law requiring IDAs to livestream and record their meetings. Credit: Barry Sloan

State Assemb. Michaelle Solages has introduced a bill that would require industrial development agencies to livestream and record their meetings, according to a copy of the legislation.

The bill does not have any co-sponsors in the Democratic-controlled state Assembly or similar legislation in the Republican-majority state Senate. It was introduced on April 10 and referred to the Assembly’s Standing Committee on Local Governments.

The legislation would require the agencies to livestream, record and post online videos of meetings that involve payment-in-lieu-of-taxes, or PILOT, agreements. The recordings would be available on the IDAs’ or local governments’ websites. IDAs also grant exemptions from sales taxes and mortgage-recording taxes.

“While constituents may want to attend every governmental meeting, due to scheduling conflicts, they cannot always be physically present to do so. Livestreaming will enable IDAs to increase civic engagement,” Solages (D-Elmont) said in a news release. “This bill will provide constituents the option to view IDA meetings at their convenience.”

There are eight IDAs on Long Island. Solages was a vocal opponent of tax breaks granted to the Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream. There are several other bills before the state legislature concerning the governing of IDAs and how PILOTs affect school districts.

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