HB108 (2021) Detail

Relative to minutes and decisions in nonpublic sessions under the right-to-know law.


HB 108-FN-LOCAL - AS INTRODUCED

 

 

2021 SESSION

21-0315

08/06

 

HOUSE BILL 108-FN-LOCAL

 

AN ACT relative to minutes and decisions in nonpublic sessions under the right-to-know law.

 

SPONSORS: Rep. Ulery, Hills. 37; Rep. Spillane, Rock. 2; Rep. McGuire, Merr. 29; Rep. T. Lekas, Hills. 37

 

COMMITTEE: Judiciary

 

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ANALYSIS

 

This bill requires that for meetings in nonpublic session where the minutes or decisions were determined to not be subject to public disclosure, a list shall be kept which shall include certain information.  The list shall be made available for public disclosure.

 

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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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

21-0315

08/06

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty One

 

AN ACT relative to minutes and decisions in nonpublic sessions under the right-to-know law.

 

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

 

1  Right-to-Know Law; Nonpublic Sessions.  Amend RSA 91-A:3, III to read as follows:

III.  Minutes of meetings in nonpublic session shall be kept and the record of all actions shall be promptly made available for public inspection, except as provided in this section.  Minutes of such sessions shall record all actions in such a manner that the vote of each member is ascertained and recorded.  Minutes and decisions reached in nonpublic session shall be publicly disclosed within 72 hours of the meeting, unless, by recorded vote of 2/3 of the members present taken in public session, it is determined that divulgence of the information likely would affect adversely the reputation of any person other than a member of the public body itself, or render the proposed action ineffective, or pertain to terrorism, more specifically, to matters relating to the preparation for and the carrying out of all emergency functions, developed by local or state safety officials that are directly intended to thwart a deliberate act that is intended to result in widespread or severe damage to property or widespread injury or loss of life.  This shall include training to carry out such functions.  In the event of such circumstances, information may be withheld until, in the opinion of a majority of members, the aforesaid circumstances no longer apply.  For all meetings held in nonpublic session, where the minutes or decisions were determined to not be subject to full public disclosure, a list of such minutes or decisions shall be kept and this list shall be promptly made available for public disclosure.  This list shall identify the public body and include the date and time of the meeting in nonpublic session, the specific exemption under paragraph II on its face which is relied upon as foundation for the nonpublic session, the date of the decision to withhold the minutes or decisions from public disclosure, and the date of any subsequent decision, if any, to make the minutes or decisions available for public disclosure.  

2  Effective Date.   This act shall take effect January 1, 2022.

 

LBA

21-0315

12/8/20

 

HB 108-FN-LOCAL- FISCAL NOTE

AS INTRODUCED

 

AN ACT relative to minutes and decisions in nonpublic sessions under the right-to-know law.

 

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

 

 

LOCAL:

 

 

 

 

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

$0

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

 

METHODOLOGY:

This legislation requires a public body to keep a list of all minutes of non-public sessions that are not subject to public disclosure, including the date and time of each non-public session, the statutory exemption that was the basis for the non-public session, the date of the decision to withhold the minutes from public disclosure, and the date of any subsequent decision to make the minutes available.  The New Hampshire Municipal Association indicates compiling and maintaining such a list will require additional staff time for municipalities. This may result in additional expenditures, but it will depend on the specific circumstances of each municipality. Therefore, the Association is not able to estimate the amount of additional expenditures. There will be no effect on municipal revenues.

 

The Department of Justice expects the bill would likely result in additional requests for legal advice and training to be provided by existing Department of Justice attorneys in order to make state boards and agencies aware of the new requirement and how to comply.  Those requests would be handled by the Civil Bureau and could be done within the current budget resulting in no fiscal impact to the Department.

 

The New Hampshire Association of Counties states there would be no fiscal impact to the counties.

 

AGENCIES CONTACTED:

Department of Justice, New Hampshire Municipal Association and New Hampshire Association of Counties

 

Links

HB108 at GenCourtMobile
HB108 Discussion

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Feb. 19, 2021 House Hearing
March 2, 2021 House Exec Session
March 2, 2021 House Exec Session

Bill Text Revisions

HB108 Revision: 31387 Date: Jan. 4, 2021, 12:53 p.m.

Docket


March 2, 2021: Executive Session: 03/02/2021 9:00 a.m. Members of the public may attend using the following links: 1. To join the webinar: https://www.zoom.us/j/95501229688 2. Or Telephone: Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location): 1-929-205-6099 3. Webinar ID: 955 0122 9688 The following email will be monitored throughout the meeting by someone who can assist with and alert the committee to any technical issues: hcs@leg.state.nh.us or call (603-271-3600).


March 2, 2021: Executive Session: 03/02/2021 09:00 am Members of the public may attend using the following link: To join the webinar: https://www.zoom.us/j/95501229688


Feb. 19, 2021: Public Hearing: 02/19/2021 09:00 am Members of the public may attend using the following link: To join the webinar: https://www.zoom.us/j/92168223794 / Executive session on pending legislation may be held throughout the day (time permitting) from the time the committee is initially convened.


Jan. 6, 2021: Introduced (in recess of) 01/06/2021 and referred to Judiciary HJ 2 P. 35


Jan. 6, 2020: To Be Introduced 01/06/2020 and referred to Judiciary