House Passed HB178 with Amendment

The House passed HB178 with amendment by voice vote on the consent calendar this week.  This bill establishes a study commission on resolving Right-to-Know complaints. It was previously passed 18-0 by the House Judiciary Committee with a recommendation that the bill ought to pass with amendment. The committee report was presented by Rep. Linda Kenison:

As amended, this bill as amended establishes a commission to study processes to resolve right-to-know complaints. Currently, the only recourse for right-to-know complainants is to bring a lawsuit. The sponsors are looking for a less costly and time-consuming remedy to resolve complaints.

The amendment changed the membership, quorum, and due date for the commission.  It added 2 more House members, a school board member and a county official as well as allowed the NHMA to appoint the municipal official.  Here’s the amended language on membership:

(1) [One]Three members of the house of representatives, appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives.

(4) One municipal official, appointed by the [governor]New Hampshire Municipal Association.
(5) One school board member, appointed by the New Hampshire School Boards Association.
(6) One county official, appointed by the New Hampshire Association of Counties.

The quorum was changed from 5 to 7, since the membership changed from 9 to 13.  Here’s the amended language on quorum:

III. The members of the commission shall elect a chairperson from among the members. The first meeting of the commission shall be called by the house member. The first meeting of the commission shall be held within 30 days of the effective date of this section. [Five]Seven members of the commission shall constitute a quorum.

The due date changed from December 1, 2017 to November 1, 2017.  Here’s the amended language on the due date:

IV. The commission shall report its findings and any recommendations for proposed legislation to the speaker of the house of representatives, the president of the senate, the house clerk, the senate clerk, the governor, and the state library on or before [December]November 1, 2017.

Since the due date changed, so did the repeal date:

I. Section 2 of this act shall take effect [December]November 1, 2017.

The full text of the amended bill is available here.  This bill now goes to the Senate.

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