The state Senate on Wednesday approved a package of bills aimed at providing more transparency for public bodies created through executive order and allow regulators to suspend officials at public authorities.

The bills target aspects of state and local government that have, at times, acted in secret or behind closed doors while also providing teeth to the Authorities Budget Office.

One bill, sponsored by Sen. James Skoufis, would require entities created through executive order be subject to the state’s Open Meetings Law.

“In keeping with recent legislative initiatives aimed at greater transparency, these bodies should be open to public scrutiny. The work of our state’s public bodies has a profound effect on the functioning of government and it is essential to our democratic process that members of the public are fully aware of and have the opportunity to observe the deliberations and decisions that go into the making of public policy,” the bill’s memo states.

Another measure would allow the Authorities Budget Office to suspend board members and executive staff at public authorities, semi-public entities that are created to borrow outside of normal bonding procedures.

The bill has the backing of the good-government group Reinvent Albany.

“This bill is an important step forward for transparency and accountability in local authority boards,” the group said. “Under current law, boards may avoid filing required forms altogether without facing any serious penalty, as the ABO’s punitive actions are limited to warning and censuring members or publishing reports about noncompliance. Consequently, as of February 2019, 119 authorities – more than 20 percent of public authorities in the state – had not met the deadline for submitting a required report.”