SB344 (2022) Detail

Relative to the quorum requirements under the right to know law of meetings open to the public.


SB 344  - AS INTRODUCED

 

 

2022 SESSION

22-3101

07/10

 

SENATE BILL 344

 

AN ACT relative to the quorum requirements under the right to know law of meetings open to the public.

 

SPONSORS: Sen. Daniels, Dist 11; Sen. Hennessey, Dist 1; Sen. Cavanaugh, Dist 16; Sen. Perkins Kwoka, Dist 21; Rep. Long, Hills. 10; Rep. Eaton, Ches. 3; Rep. Egan, Graf. 2

 

COMMITTEE: Judiciary

 

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ANALYSIS

 

This bill removes the physical presence quorum requirement for meetings under RSA 91-A.

 

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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

22-3101

07/10

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty Two

 

AN ACT relative to the quorum requirements under the right to know law of meetings open to the public.

 

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

 

1  Access to Governmental Records and Meetings; Meetings Open to the Public; Physical Quorum Requirements Removed.  Amend RSA 91-A:2, III to read as follows:

III.  A public body may, but is not required to, allow one or more members of the body to participate in a meeting by electronic or other means of communication for the benefit of the public and the governing body, subject to the provisions of this paragraph.

(a)  A member of the public body may participate in a meeting other than by attendance in person at the location of the meeting only when such attendance is not reasonably practical.  Any reason that such attendance is not reasonably practical shall be stated in the minutes of the meeting.

[(b)  Except in an emergency, a quorum of the public body shall be physically present at the location specified in the meeting notice as the location of the meeting.  For purposes of this subparagraph, an "emergency" means that immediate action is imperative and the physical presence of a quorum is not reasonably practical within the period of time requiring action.  The determination that an emergency exists shall be made by the chairman or presiding officer of the public body, and the facts upon which that determination is based shall be included in the minutes of the meeting.]

[(c)] (b) Each part of a meeting required to be open to the public shall be audible or otherwise discernable to the public at the location specified in the meeting notice as the location of the meeting.  Each member participating electronically or otherwise must be able to simultaneously hear each other and speak to each other during the meeting, and shall be audible or otherwise discernable to the public in attendance at the meeting's location.  Any member participating in such fashion shall identify the persons present in the location from which the member is participating.  No meeting shall be conducted by electronic mail or any other form of communication that does not permit the public to hear, read, or otherwise discern meeting discussion contemporaneously at the meeting location specified in the meeting notice.

[(d)] (c) Any meeting held pursuant to the terms of this paragraph shall comply with all of the requirements of this chapter relating to public meetings, and shall not circumvent the spirit and purpose of this chapter as expressed in RSA 91-A:1.

[(e)] (d)  A member participating in a meeting by the means described in this paragraph is deemed to be present at the meeting for purposes of voting.  All votes taken during such a meeting shall be by roll call vote.

2  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.

Links

SB344 at GenCourtMobile

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Jan. 25, 2022 Senate Hearing

Bill Text Revisions

SB344 Revision: 34371 Date: Dec. 14, 2021, 4:31 p.m.

Docket


Jan. 13, 2022: Hearing: 01/25/2022, Room 100, SH, 02:00 pm; SC 3


Dec. 15, 2021: To Be Introduced 01/05/2022 and Referred to Commerce; SJ 1


Dec. 15, 2021: To Be Introduced 01/05/2022 and Referred to Judiciary; SJ 1