HB 396-FN-LOCAL - AS INTRODUCED
HOUSE BILL 396-FN-LOCAL
SPONSORS: Rep. DiLorenzo, Rock. 17; Rep. Cushing, Rock. 21; Rep. Horrigan, Straf. 6; Rep. Ulery, Hills. 37; Rep. Wuelper, Straf. 3; Rep. Janvrin, Rock. 37; Rep. Morrison, Rock. 9; Sen. Giuda, Dist 2; Sen. Carson, Dist 14
This bill requires a public body or agency to provide written reasons for delay or denial of 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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Nineteen
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 provide the reasons for the delay in writing, and, 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. A public body or agency response denying, in whole or in part, inspection or copying of any record shall include a statement of the specific exemption authorizing the withholding of the record and a brief explanation of how the exemption applies to the record withheld. 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 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 396-FN-LOCAL- FISCAL NOTE
FISCAL IMPACT: [ ] State [ ] County [ X ] Local [ ] None
Estimated Increase / (Decrease)
This bill requires a public body or public agency to provide a written explanation for a delay when it is unable to make a governmental record available for immediate inspection and copying or when denying inspection or copying of any record in whole or in part, due to a specified exemption pursuant to RSA 91-A. The New Hampshire Municipal Association states this may result in additional work for municipal officials and employees. The number of requests received in each municipality in unknown and the amount of any such additional work and any additional expense is indeterminable.
The Department of Justice states it provides legal counsel to state agencies and public bodies. To the extent the department would have to provide advice concerning the applicability of the bill, it could be done within the department's current budget.
The New Hampshire Association of Counties indicates there is no fiscal impact to county operations as a result of this legislation.
New Hampshire Municipal Association, Department of Justice, and New Hampshire Association of Counties
|Jan. 3, 2019||Introduced 01/03/2019 and referred to Judiciary HJ 3 P. 12|
|Jan. 23, 2019||Public Hearing: 01/23/2019 11:30 am LOB 208|
|March 5, 2019||Executive Session: 03/05/2019 11:00 am LOB 208|
|March 14, 2019||Committee Report: Ought to Pass for 03/14/2019 (Vote 19-1; CC) HC 15 P. 4|
|Committee Report: Ought to Pass (Vote 19-1; CC)|
|March 14, 2019||Ought to Pass: MA VV 03/14/2019|
|Jan. 23, 2019||House||Hearing|
|March 5, 2019||House||Exec Session|
|March 14, 2019||House||Floor Vote|