HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

165

TWENTY-NINTH LEGISLATURE, 2017

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to public meetings.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. Chapter 92, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"92- Board packet; filing. At the time the board packet is distributed to the board members, the board shall file the board packet in the board's office for public inspection and provide notice to persons requesting notification pursuant to section 92-7(e) that the board packets are available. When the board packets are filed in the board's office, the board shall provide reasonably prompt access to the board packet to any person on request. To the maximum extent feasible, the board shall accommodate requests for electronic access to the board packet.

For purposes of this section, "board packet" means documents that are compiled by the board and distributed to board members before a meeting for use at that meeting; provided that this section shall not require public access to information protected from disclosure under chapter 92F."

SECTION 2. Section 92-7, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"92-7 Notice. (a) The board shall give written public notice of any regular, special, emergency, or rescheduled meeting, or any executive meeting when anticipated in advance. The notice shall include an agenda [which] that lists all of the items to be considered at the forthcoming meeting, the date, time, and place of the meeting, and in the case of an executive meeting the purpose shall be stated. If an item to be considered is the proposed adoption, amendment, or repeal of administrative rules, an agenda meets the requirements for public notice pursuant to this section if it contains a statement on the topic of the proposed rules or a general description of the subjects involved, as described in section 91-3(a)(1)(A), and a statement of when and where the proposed rules may be viewed in person and on the Internet as provided in section 91-2.6. The means specified by this section shall be the only means required for giving notice under this part notwithstanding any law to the contrary.

(b) [The] No less than six calendar days prior to the meeting, the board shall [file]:

(1) File the notice in the office of the lieutenant governor or the appropriate county clerk's office[,] and in the board's office for public inspection[, at least six calendar days before the meeting.]; and

(2) Post the notice on an electronic calendar on a website maintained by the State or the appropriate county.

The notice shall also be posted at the site of the meeting whenever feasible.

(c) If the written public notice is filed [in the office of the lieutenant governor or the appropriate county clerk's office] or electronically posted less than six calendar days before the meeting, the lieutenant governor or the appropriate county clerk shall immediately notify the chairperson of the board, or the director of the department within which the board is established or placed, of the tardy filing or electronic posting of the meeting notice. The meeting shall be canceled as a matter of law[, the] and shall not be held. The chairperson or the director shall ensure that a notice canceling the meeting is filed in the office of the lieutenant governor or the appropriate county clerk's office, electronically posted on the electronic calendar maintained by the State or appropriate county, and posted at the place of the meeting[, and no meeting shall be held.]. If there is a dispute as to whether a notice was timely posted on an electronic calendar maintained by the State or appropriate county, a printout of the electronic time-stamped agenda shall be conclusive evidence of the electronic posting date. The board shall provide a copy of the time stamp upon request.

(d) No board shall change the agenda, [once filed,] less than six calendar days prior to the meeting, by adding items thereto without a two-thirds recorded vote of all members to which the board is entitled; provided that no item shall be added to the agenda if it is of reasonably major importance and action thereon by the board will affect a significant number of persons. Items of reasonably major importance not decided at a scheduled meeting shall be considered only at a meeting continued to a reasonable day and time.

(e) The board shall maintain a list of names and postal or electronic mail addresses of persons who request notification of meetings and shall mail or electronically mail a copy of the notice to such persons by the means chosen by such persons at their last recorded postal or electronic mail address no later than the time the agenda is filed or electronically posted under subsection (b)."

SECTION 3. Section 92-8, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsections (a) and (b) to read as follows:

"(a) If a board finds that an imminent peril to the public health, safety, or welfare requires a meeting in less time than is provided for in section 92-7, the board may hold an emergency meeting provided that:

(1) The board states in writing the reasons for its findings;

(2) Two-thirds of all members to which the board is entitled agree that the findings are correct and an emergency exists;

(3) An emergency agenda and the findings are filed [with the office of the lieutenant governor or the appropriate county clerk's office, and in the board's office;] and electronically posted pursuant to section 92-7(b); provided that the six calendar day requirement for filing and electronic posting shall not apply; and

(4) Persons requesting notification on a regular basis are contacted by postal or electronic mail or telephone as soon as practicable.

(b) If an unanticipated event requires a board to take action on a matter over which it has supervision, control, jurisdiction, or advisory power, within less time than is provided for in section 92-7 to notice and convene a meeting of the board, the board may hold an emergency meeting to deliberate and decide whether and how to act in response to the unanticipated event; provided that:

(1) The board states in writing the reasons for its finding that an unanticipated event has occurred and that an emergency meeting is necessary and the attorney general concurs that the conditions necessary for an emergency meeting under this subsection exist;

(2) Two-thirds of all members to which the board is entitled agree that the conditions necessary for an emergency meeting under this subsection exist;

(3) The finding that an unanticipated event has occurred and that an emergency meeting is necessary and the agenda for the emergency meeting under this subsection are filed [with the office of the lieutenant governor or the appropriate county clerk's office, and in the board's office;] and electronically posted pursuant to section 92-7(b); provided that the six calendar day requirement for filing and electronic posting shall not apply;

(4) Persons requesting notification on a regular basis are contacted by postal or electronic mail or telephone as soon as practicable; and

(5) The board limits its action to only that action which must be taken on or before the date that a meeting would have been held, had the board noticed the meeting pursuant to section 92-7."

SECTION 4. Section 92-9, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsections (b) and (c) to read as follows:

"(b) The minutes shall be made available to the public [records and shall be available] by posting on the board's website or, if the board does not have a website, on an appropriate state or county website within thirty days after the meeting except where such disclosure would be inconsistent with section 92-5; provided that minutes of executive meetings may be withheld so long as their publication would defeat the lawful purpose of the executive meeting, but no longer.

(c) All or any part of a meeting of a board may be recorded by any person in attendance by [means of a tape recorder or] any [other] means of [sonic] reproduction, except when a meeting is closed pursuant to section 92-4; provided the recording does not actively interfere with the conduct of the meeting."

SECTION 5. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 6. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________

 

 


 


 

Report Title:

Sunshine Law; Public Agency Meetings and Records; Electronic Information

 

Description:

Requires, among other things, electronic posting of meeting notices, emergency meeting agendas, cancellation notices, and meeting minutes.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.