Governor Sununu signed HB178 into law on June 16th. This bill establishes a 13 member study commission on resolving Right-to-Know complaints.
Should a citizen feel the Right-to-Know law has been violated, currently, enforcement of the law falls squarely on the citizen’s shoulders. Costs and legal complexities associated with filing a petition in court is a financial and emotional burden, and for some it’s simply prohibitive. Additional costs are also born by public bodies and the courts. Regardless of who wins or loses the lawsuit, the taxpayer is burdened with a great deal of the total expense. To reduce these costs to the taxpayers, this commission will study ways to reduce both the number of and the expense of resolving complaints consistent with the following:
(1) Encouraging resolution of right-to-know complaints directly between citizens and public agencies and bodies.
(2) Reducing the burden and costs of right-to-know complaints on the courts.
(3) Reducing the burden and costs of right-to-know complaints on public agencies and bodies.
(4) Reducing the burden and costs of right-to-know complaints on citizens aggrieved by violations of RSA 91-A.
(5) Increasing awareness and compliance with the right-to-know law to minimize violations.
The commission will report its findings and any recommendations for proposed legislation by November 1, 2017.