Revision: Nov. 13, 2017, 9:12 a.m.
HB 1579-FN - AS INTRODUCED
HOUSE BILL 1579-FN
AN ACT requiring records to be kept for certain exempt convenings under the right-to-know law.
SPONSORS: Rep. Wuelper, Straf. 3; Rep. Seidel, Hills. 28; Rep. Verville, Rock. 2
This bill requires records to be kept for certain exempt convenings under the right-to-know law.
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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.
Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]
Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Eighteen
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
I-a. Records of all convenings of a quorum or majority of the members of a public body for the purposes of RSA 91-A:2, I(a) or (b) shall be kept and publicly disclosed within 72 hours of the convenings, and shall be treated as permanent public records, without exception. Such records shall include the specific exemption under RSA 91-A:2, I(a) or (b) which is relied upon as the foundation for the convenings, names of members, persons appearing before the public bodies, meeting places, and beginning and ending dates and times. Such records shall not be required for convenings exempt under RSA 91-A:2, I(c) or (d).
(a) Strategy or negotiations with respect to collective bargaining; provided that records of all such convenings pursuant to paragraph I-a shall include the name of the collective bargaining units discussed;
(b) Consultation with legal counsel provided; that records of all such convenings pursuant to paragraph I-a shall include the name of the legal counsel and the means by which the legal counsel participated in the convenings, whether in person, by telephone, or by other appropriate means;
HB 1579-FN- FISCAL NOTE
FISCAL IMPACT: [ X ] State [ ] County [ ] Local [ ] None
Estimated Increase / (Decrease)
[ X ] General [ ] Education [ ] Highway [ ] Other
This legislation requires a public body to keep and disclose records of any convening of a majority of the public body for the purpose of strategy or negotiations with respect to collective bargaining or consultation with legal counsel.
The Office of Professional Licensure and Certification indicates this bill would increase staff time related to preparing public meeting minutes and making minutes available to the public within 72 hours, and possibly increase the number of board meetings and the associated board member per-diem payments. The Office assumes most of the board rules would require modification to indicate when minutes are available to the public which would require additional time from the attorney assigned to rules.
The Department of Administrative Services assumes the bill would require certain record keeping for two types of gatherings which are presently excluded from the definition of a “meeting” in RSA 91-A. Since the Department is managed by a single commissioner, and not by a public body, the Department does not expect this bill would have a significant impact on its operations. However the Department assumes, for example, if the Department’s Manager of Employee Relations met with and internal advisory committee regarding collective bargaining, it would be necessary to publicly identify which of the various unions was discussed and for how long. Similarly, if a State bargaining team met with counsel at the Department of Justice to discuss bargaining issues, it would be necessary to identify the names of the attorneys, how they participated in the meeting and for how long. The Department assumes creation and retention of additional records for sessions that are not currently considered “meetings” would increase staff time and expenditures for public entities. The potential increase in expenditures cannot be estimated since the number of future sessions which may be subject to the proposed law are cannot be determined.
The New Hampshire Municipal Association indicates this bill is unlikely to have any effect on municipal expenditures or revenues.
The New Hampshire Association of Counties determined this bill would have no fiscal impact on county revenue or expenditures.
Department of Administrative Services, Office of Professional Licensure and Certification, New Hampshire Association of Counties and New Hampshire Municipal Association