STAND. COM. REP. NO. 497
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 Government Operations, 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 boards 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 giving the board discretion to maintain confidentiality.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Office of Information Practices. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the University of Hawai‘i Board of Regents and Civil Beat Law Center for the Public Interest.
Your Committee finds that the Sunshine Law provides limited exceptions for government boards to hold closed executive sessions, but the minutes of an executive session can only be withheld to the extent necessary to protect the purpose of the executive session. This measure requires information to be reported as a summary of a public agency's executive session while maintaining some level of confidentiality.
Your Committee also finds that this measure will not undermine a board's ability to use executive sessions as authorized in the Sunshine Law and serves to increase the public's access to discussions, deliberations, decisions, and actions of government. Further, your Committee finds that this measure, as interpreted, does not diminish any of the existing responsibilities of the board, but rather adds to the board's responsibilities.
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. 1513 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,
ANGUS L.K. MCKELVEY, Chair