STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1078
RE: S.B. No. 1513
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-Second State Legislature
Regular Session of 2023
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Judiciary, to which was referred S.B. No. 1513 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO PUBLIC AGENCY MEETINGS,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to require a public agency board to report any discussion or final action taken during an executive meeting; provided that such disclosure is not inconsistent with the purpose of convening the executive meeting and gives the board discretion to maintain confidentiality.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Office of Information Practices.
Your Committee finds that a state government board is not required to summarize its discussions for the public, report actions taken, or indeed say anything about what happened in its executive session when it reconvenes in the open meeting at which the executive meeting is held. While some boards routinely summarize their executive sessions for the public, many others do not. Your Committee further finds that current law allows government boards to go into a closed executive session for a limited list of purposes, but the minutes of an executive session can only be withheld to the extent necessary to protect the purpose of the executive session and does not require a board to summarize its discussions for the public. Your Committee believes that requiring government boards to report their discussions and final actions when they reconvene to the public portion of the meeting will promote public access without undermining a board's ability to use executive sessions when authorized to do so. Therefore, this measure requires government boards to report and make available to the public, discussions and final actions taken by the board while preserving the boards ability to maintain confidentiality for as long as disclosure would defeat the purpose of convening the executive meeting.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Judiciary that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 1513 and recommends that it pass Third Reading.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Judiciary,
KARL RHOADS, Chair