THIS BLOG POST IS ONE OF SEVERAL THAT WILL BE PUBLISHED DURING SUNSHINE WEEK, HIGHLIGHTING THE NEED FOR MORE GOVERNMENT TRANSPARENCY.
All the Right-to-Know bills for 2016 are finished in either the House or Senate and are now crossing over to the other chamber. As such, it is a good time to take stock. Overall, of the 16 Right-to-Know bills, 1 bill was referred to interim study, 1 bill was tabled, 8 bills were killed, 4 bills were passed with amendments, and 2 bills were passed as introduced. Only 6 bills have survived to cross over.
Tabled. HB1546 was tabled by the House. Originally, HB1546 would have allowed public servants to be recorded while doing their job, but it was amended to generally weaken the the wiretapping law. This bill is expected to die on the table for this session.
Studied. HB613 was referred to interim study by the Senate. HB613 was passed by the House last session and rereferred to the committee for this session. This bill would exempt certain personal license applications from public disclosure.
Killed. Eight bills were killed by the House. HB1216 would have required agencies to provide information that is not recorded. HB1413 would have created a study commission on how to handle RTK complaints. HB1417 would have required records for certain non-meetings. HB1465 would have required recording of roll call votes of legislative committees. HB1492 was on individual privacy and police body cameras. HB1510 was on personal notifications and reviewing non-public minutes. HB1593 would have prohibited agencies from charging for labor to access records. HB1611 would have allowed agencies to charge to access records.
Amended. Four bills were passed with amendments. HB285 allows non-meetings to consider verbal or written legal advice. HB606 clarifies that no fees may be charged to inspect or deliver records online and when no copies are made. HB617 requires state police to wear body cameras and defines when such video is available to the public. HB1395 allows portable document format files for long term records. RTKNH will publish our position on these four bills in an upcoming post.
Passed. Only 2 bills were passed without amendments. HB1418 requires the same level of details in non-public minutes as for public minutes. HB1419 requires recording each member’s vote in non-public meetings. Both of these bills were authored by RTKNH and we support their passage.