STAND. COM. REP. NO. 2424
RE: S.B. No. 2038
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2020
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Government Operations, to which was referred S.B. No. 2038 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO BOARD MEMBERS,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to permit two or more board members to attend a state of the city, state of the county, state of the State, or state of the judiciary address without violating "sunshine" laws where meetings must be open to the public and allow for public comment. These ceremonial and informative addresses are a necessary function of public service. The dual benefit is that board members are seen partaking in civic events, and also that they are able to hear an important speech.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Office of Information Practices, Office of the Mayor of the County of Hawai‘i, and one member of the Maui County Council.
Your Committee finds that when members of a board attend a ceremonial government event, such as State of the State, State of the City, or State of the County address, they often find themselves together listening to a presentation that includes matters that may likely be board business in the foreseeable future. Although the presentation is primarily ceremonial in nature, their attendance at the same event and their interaction with each other may be viewed as a technical violation of the Sunshine Law. This measure would specifically allow multiple board members to attend largely ceremonial events provided that they do not discuss potential board business between themselves and no commitment to vote is made.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Government Operations that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2038 and recommends that it pass Second Reading and be referred to your Committee on Judiciary.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Government Operations,
LAURA H. THIELEN, Chair