Open Meetings

Assists public agencies in holding meetings by videoconference.
(SB2924 HD1)

THE SENATE                              S.B. NO.           S.D. 1
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2000                                H.D. 1
STATE OF HAWAII                                            

                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT



 1      SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that the "slice waste and
 2 tape" or "SWAT" regulatory reform initiative within the
 3 lieutenant governor's office is designed to improve state
 4 government by eliminating null and void, unnecessary,
 5 ineffective, and overly complex administrative rules that deter
 6 economic development and hamper government efficiency.  The
 7 intent of this initiative is to reduce the burden of government
 8 regulation and minimize its negative effects on Hawaii's
 9 residents, businesses, the economy, and government operations.
10 Strategies to achieve these objectives include such measures as
11 improving public access to rules, eliminating unnecessary rules,
12 and reviewing and overhauling the rulemaking process.
13      In 1994, the legislature recognized that allowing boards and
14 commissions to hold meetings by videoconference would help
15 increase public access to such meetings, reduce costs, and help
16 government to operate more efficiently and effectively.  Act 121,
17 Session Laws of Hawaii 1994, codified as section 92-3.5, Hawaii
18 Revised Statutes, permits boards to meet by videoconference and
19 provides specific requirements for holding such meetings.

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 1 However, section 92-3.5(d), Hawaii Revised Statutes, mandates
 2 that any board planning to hold meetings by videoconference first
 3 adopt unspecified additional rules pursuant to chapter 91, Hawaii
 4 Revised Statutes, the Hawaii Administrative Procedure Act.  To
 5 date, no board has gone through the rulemaking process to adopt
 6 additional rules for holding meetings by videoconference, and
 7 because of this, no board has been able to take advantage of the
 8 efficiencies and economies of section 92-3.5, Hawaii Revised
 9 Statutes.
10      The purpose of this Act is to implement one of the
11 lieutenant governor's initiatives to eliminate unnecessary rules
12 and requirements.  The legislature finds that this Act will help
13 increase public access to meetings of boards and commissions,
14 reduce costs, and help government to operate more efficiently and
15 effectively.
16      SECTION 2.  Section 92-3.5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
17 amended to read as follows:
18      "[[]92-3.5[]]Meeting by videoconference; notice; quorum.
19 (a)  A board may hold a meeting by videoconference; provided that
20 the videoconference system used by the board shall allow both
21 audio and visual interaction between all members of the board
22 participating in the meeting and the public attending the
23 meeting, at any videoconference location.  The notice required by

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 1 section 92-7 shall specify all locations at which board members
 2 will be physically present during a videoconference meeting[, and
 3 the public shall be allowed to attend the meeting at any such
 4 location].  The notice shall also specify that the public may
 5 attend the meeting at any of the specified locations.
 6      (b)  Any board member participating in a meeting by
 7 videoconference shall be considered present at the meeting for
 8 the purpose of determining compliance with the quorum and voting
 9 requirements of the board.
10      (c)  A meeting held by videoconference shall be terminated
11 if both audio and video communication cannot be maintained with
12 all locations where the meeting is being held, even if a quorum
13 of the board is physically present in one location.
14      [(d)  Each board shall adopt rules in accordance with
15 chapter 91 regarding the use of and the procedures to be followed
16 in a meeting held by videoconference, before the meetings are
17 held.]"
18      SECTION 3.  Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed.
19 New statutory material is underscored.
20      SECTION 4.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.