HB1788 (2018) Detail

Relative to costs charged under the right-to-know law.


HB 1788-FN-LOCAL - AS AMENDED BY THE HOUSE

 

15Mar2018... 0451h

2018 SESSION

18-2339

01/08

 

HOUSE BILL 1788-FN-LOCAL

 

AN ACT relative to costs charged under the right-to-know law.

 

SPONSORS: Rep. Sylvia, Belk. 6

 

COMMITTEE: Judiciary

 

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AMENDED ANALYSIS

 

This bill establishes a cost per page for copies of governmental records 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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

15Mar2018... 0451h 18-2339

01/08

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Eighteen

 

AN ACT relative to costs charged under the right-to-know law.

 

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

 

1  Right-to-Know; Minutes and Records Available for Public Inspection.  Amend RSA 91-A:4, IV to read as follows:

IV.  Each public body or agency shall, upon request for any governmental record reasonably described, make available for inspection and copying any such governmental record within its files when such records are immediately available for such release.  If a public body or agency is unable to make a governmental record available for immediate inspection and copying, it shall, within 5 business days of request, make such record available, deny the request in writing with reasons, or furnish written acknowledgment of the receipt of the request and a statement of the time reasonably necessary to determine whether the request shall be granted or denied.  If a computer, photocopying machine, or other device maintained for use by a public body or agency is used by the public body or agency to copy the governmental record requested, the person requesting the copy may be charged [the actual cost of] 10 cents per page for providing the copy, which cost may be collected by the public body or agency.  No fee shall be charged for the inspection or delivery, without copying, of governmental records, whether in paper, electronic, or other form.  Nothing in this section shall exempt any person from paying fees otherwise established by law for obtaining copies of governmental records or documents, but if such fee is established for the copy, no additional costs or fees shall be charged.

2  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect January 1, 2019.

 

LBAO

18-2339

12/5/17

 

HB 1788-FN-LOCAL- FISCAL NOTE

AS INTRODUCED

 

AN ACT relative to costs charged under the right-to-know law.

 

FISCAL IMPACT:      [ X ] State              [    ] County               [ X ] Local              [    ] None

 

 

 

Estimated Increase / (Decrease)

STATE:

FY 2019

FY 2020

FY 2021

FY 2022

   Appropriation

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Revenue

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

   Expenditures

$0

$0

$0

$0

Funding Source:

  [ X ] General            [    ] Education            [    ] Highway           [ X ] Other - Various Government Funds

 

 

 

 

 

LOCAL:

 

 

 

 

   Revenue

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

   Expenditures

$0

$0

$0

$0

 

METHODOLOGY:

This bill provides that the cost charged for copies of governmental records under the right-to know law (RSA 91-A) shall not exceed the prevailing commercial rate for the production of copies.

 

The Judicial Branch provides information to the public pursuant to its obligation under Part I, Article 8 of the New Hampshire Constitution that: "the public's right of access to governmental proceedings and records shall not be unreasonably restricted".  The Branch indicates it looks to RSA 91-Afor guidance in fulfilling this obligation.  The Branch assumes this bill refers to the cost of providing photocopies and not the cost of providing certified copies of documents.  Based on that assumption, it is not anticipated the proposed bill would have a fiscal impact on the Judicial Branch in excess of $10,000.

 

The Department of Justice states it currently charges $0.25 per page for copies.  The Department does not have information on the prevailing commercial rate for copies because the majority of its responses to right-to-know requests are provided electronically.  The Department anticipates the fiscal impact of this bill would be minimal and less than $10,000 annually.

 

The Department of Administrative Services states RSA 91-A applies to all public records at all levels of government.  Because the current practices of these entities is not known and the prevailing commercial rates may vary, the Department is unable to assess the fiscal impact of this bill.  The Department indicates current statute allows an entity to charge the actual cost of copying.  The Department does not have information on how an entity’s actual cost might compare to the prevailing rate.

 

The New Hampshire Municipal Association indicates this bill may impact municipal revenues, but since the legislation does not define the prevailing commercial rate, it is not possible determine what the effect on revenues may be.  The Association states there should be no impact on municipal expenditures.

 

The New Hampshire Association of Counties determined this bill would not impact county expenditures or revenues.

 

The Office of Professional Licensure and Certification states this bill would have no fiscal impact on its operations.  The Office assumes it is currently not charging more than the prevailing commercial rate for copies.

 

AGENCIES CONTACTED:

Judicial Branch, Departments of Administrative Services and Justice, Office of Professional Licensure and Certification, New Hampshire Municipal Association and New Hampshire Association of Counties

 

Links

HB1788 at GenCourtMobile

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Jan. 23, 2018 House Hearing
Feb. 27, 2018 House Exec Session
House Floor Vote
March 6, 2018 House Floor Vote
March 15, 2018 House Floor Vote
March 29, 2018 Senate Hearing
April 19, 2018 Senate Floor Vote

Bill Text Revisions

HB1788 Revision: 3270 Date: March 15, 2018, 11:05 a.m.
HB1788 Revision: 2378 Date: Dec. 5, 2017, 4:22 p.m.

Docket

Date Status
Jan. 3, 2018 Introduced 01/03/2018 and referred to Judiciary HJ 1 P. 23
Jan. 23, 2018 Public Hearing: 01/23/2018 02:00 PM LOB 208
Feb. 27, 2018 Executive Session: 02/27/2018 LOB 208
Committee Report: Ought to Pass with Amendment # 2018-0451h (Vote 11-7; RC)
March 6, 2018 Committee Report: Ought to Pass with Amendment # 2018-0451h for 03/06/2018 (Vote 11-7; RC) HC 9 P. 59
March 6, 2018 Suspend House Rule 65 (Reps. Hinch, Shurtleff): MA VV by necessary two-thirds vote 03/06/2018 HJ 6 P. 125
Special Order to 3/15/2018 Without Objection HJ 7 P. 49
March 15, 2018 Amendment # 2018-0451h: AA VV 03/15/2018 HJ 8 P. 16
March 15, 2018 Ought to Pass with Amendment 0451h: MA DV 181-149 03/15/2018 HJ 8 P. 16
March 21, 2018 Introduced 03/21/2018 and Referred to Judiciary; SJ 10
March 29, 2018 Hearing: 03/29/2018, Room 100, SH, 09:30 am; SC 14
April 19, 2018 Committee Report: Ought to Pass with Amendment # 2018-1406s, 04/19/2018; SC 17
April 19, 2018 Sen. Bradley Moved Laid on Table, MA, VV; 04/19/2018; SJ 13
April 19, 2018 Pending Motion Committee Amendment # 2018-1406s; 04/19/2018; SJ 13