STAND. COM. REP. NO. 36
RE: S.B. No. 698
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2021
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs, to which was referred S.B. No. 698 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO COMMUNITY MEETINGS,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to:
(1) Exempt members of a County Council from the limitation on the number of members that may attend an informational meeting or presentation on matters relating to official board business, including a meeting of another entity, legislative hearing, convention, seminar, or community meeting; and
(2) Clarify that those meetings shall be meetings that are open to the public for purposes of permitted interactions.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Hawaii State Association of Counties. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Office of Information Practices, Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest, League of Women Voters, and Society of Professional Journalists Hawaii Chapter. Your Committee received comments on this measure from Common Cause Hawai‘i.
Your Committee finds that informational meetings and presentations open to the public provide the opportunity for individuals who have an interest to attend and learn more about the subject matter being discussed. However, there is currently limited flexibility under state law for a county council member to attend such meetings and presentations as an individual with a similar private interest. This measure allows council members to stay informed on developing policy issues throughout their respective counties to fulfill their duty and better serve the public.
Your Committee has amended this measure by making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 698, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 698, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Judiciary.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs,
CLARENCE K. NISHIHARA, Chair