HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

165

TWENTY-NINTH LEGISLATURE, 2017

H.D. 1

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. (a) There shall be convened by the speaker of the house of representatives, a working group to develop board packet disclosure requirements that will meet the public's interest of greater disclosure of board meetings.

(b) The membership of the working group shall consist of:

(1) The chair of the house committee on consumer protection and commerce;

(2) The chair of the house committee on judiciary;

(3) The director of the office of information practices, or the director's designee;

(4) A representative of the professional and vocational licensing division of the department of commerce and consumer affairs, appointed by the director of commerce and consumer affairs;

(5) A representative of the department of land and natural resources, appointed by the chairperson of the board of land and natural resources;

(6) Four members, each representing one of the four counties, appointed by the mayor of the respective county; and

(7) One member of the public, appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives in consultation with the chairs of the house committees on consumer protection and commerce and on judiciary.

(c) The working group shall not be required to vote on actions taken, shall not be subject to quorum requirements, and shall not be subject to part I of chapter 92, Hawaii Revised Statutes.

(d) The working group shall research current board packet disclosure requirements, including any concerns or issues raised by the general public regarding compliance with these requirements, and develop proposals for board packet disclosure requirements. Proposals for board packet disclosure requirements shall take into consideration:

(1) Public interest in the disclosure of board packets containing meeting materials and information regarding topics being given consideration at board meetings;

(2) Information that may be withheld from inclusion in the board packets, including matters to be discussed in executive session;

(3) Limitations of administrative burdens that would have a negative impact on the effectiveness and efficiency of the board and board meetings;

(4) The necessity and cost of hiring additional staff to meet staffing needs for the provision of board packets;

(5) Any other costs associated with the provision of board packets, including copying costs and administrative costs;

(6) Any funding requirements to implement the proposals; and

(7) Any other considerations the working group deems to be relevant.

(e) The working group, with the assistance of the legislative reference bureau, shall submit a report of its findings and recommendations, including any proposed legislation, to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the regular session of 2018.

(f) The members of the working group shall serve without compensation but shall be reimbursed for expenses, including travel expenses, necessary for the performance of their duties.

(g) No member of the working group shall be subject to chapter 84, Hawaii Revised Statutes, solely because of the member's participation in the working group.

(h) The working group shall be dissolved on June 30, 2018.

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 board shall file the notice in the office of the lieutenant governor or the appropriate county clerk's office,] No less than six calendar days prior to the meeting, the board shall post the notice on an electronic calendar on a website maintained by the State or the appropriate county and in the board's office for public inspection[, at least six calendar days before the meeting]. The notice shall also be posted at the site of the meeting whenever feasible. The board shall provide a copy of the notice to the office of the lieutenant governor or the appropriate county clerk's office at the time the notice is posted, and the office of the lieutenant governor or the appropriate clerk's office shall post paper or electronic copies of all meeting notices in a central location in a public building; provided that a failure to do so by the board, the office of the lieutenant governor, or the appropriate county clerk's office shall not require cancellation of the meeting.

(c) If the written public notice is [filed in the office of the lieutenant governor or the appropriate county clerk's office] electronically posted on an electronic calendar 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 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 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] the persons by the means chosen by the persons at their last recorded postal or electronic mail address no later than the time the agenda is [filed] required to be 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;] 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] forty 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 on July 1, 2050, provided that sections 2 and 3 shall take effect on July 1, 2018.


 


 

Report Title:

Sunshine Law; Public Agency Meetings and Records; Electronic Information; Working Group

 

Description:

Establishes a working group to develop solutions to the potential administrative burden of public disclosure of the board packet prior to the meeting. The working group shall report to the Legislature before the 2018 Regular Session. Requires, among other things, electronic posting of meeting notices, cancellation notices, and meeting minutes. Establishes notice and disclosure requirements for emergency meetings. (HB165 HD1)

 

 

 

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