STAND. COM. REP. NO. 2656

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: S.B. No. 2143

S.D. 1

 

 

 

Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirty-First State Legislature

Regular Session of 2022

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committee on Government Operations, to which was referred S.B. No. 2143 entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO BOARD MEETINGS,"

 

begs leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose and intent of this measure is to require each state board to make its board packets publicly available prior to the board's meeting.

 

Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from The Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest, League of Women Voters of Hawaii, National Federation of the Blind of Hawaii, Common Cause Hawaii, and seven individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Office of Information Practices and Hawaii Tourism Authority.

 

Your Committee finds that a recurring issue with many state boards is the inadequate or incomplete provision of information regarding agenda topics in advance of board meetings. This impairs the public's ability to provide meaningful comment on board matters. Your Committee further finds that members of the public have useful contributions to make on a wide array of issues and should be allowed to provide comments on issues on the agenda and not only at the beginning of meetings. Accordingly, your Committee finds that this measure will promote public engagement in the operation of state boards by increasing the amount of information provided to the public in advance of board meetings.

 

Your Committee has amended this measure by:

 

(1) Clarifying the definition of "board packet";

 

(2) Clarifying that boards are not required to prepare and use board packets, but when boards do so, they are required to make the board packets available to the public before the meeting; and

 

(3) Increasing the required packet availability from twenty-four to forty-eight hours prior to a board meeting.

 

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. 2143, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 2143, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committees on Judiciary and Ways and Means.

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Government Operations,

 

 

 

________________________________

SHARON MORIWAKI, Chair