HB 1788-FN-LOCAL - AS AMENDED BY THE HOUSE
HOUSE BILL 1788-FN-LOCAL
AN ACT relative to costs charged under the right-to-know law.
SPONSORS: Rep. Sylvia, Belk. 6
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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.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
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:
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.
HB 1788-FN-LOCAL- FISCAL NOTE
FISCAL IMPACT: [ X ] State [ ] County [ X ] Local [ ] None
Estimated Increase / (Decrease)
[ X ] General [ ] Education [ ] Highway [ X ] Other - Various Government Funds
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.
Judicial Branch, Departments of Administrative Services and Justice, Office of Professional Licensure and Certification, New Hampshire Municipal Association and New Hampshire Association of Counties
|Jan. 23, 2018||House||Hearing|
|Feb. 27, 2018||House||Exec Session|
|March 6, 2018||House||Floor Vote|
|March 15, 2018||House||Floor Vote|
|March 29, 2018||Senate||Hearing|
|April 19, 2018||Senate||Floor Vote|
|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|