We had another good year with the Legislature this year. 2 of the 4 bills we drafted became law.
HB178 a bill drafted by RTKNH, establishes a 13 member study commission on resolving Right-to-Know complaints.
HB460 a bill drafted by RTKNH, states that meeting minutes must now include any objections made to any discussions during a meeting if a member of the public body believes that the discussion is in violation of the Right-to-Know law.
A presentation on the Right-to-Know law was created. This is a comprehensive review of the Right-to-Know law and covers governmental records, minutes, public and nonpublic meetings, and violations.
RTKNH was awarded the First Amendment Award by the Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications.
2 of the 3 bills we drafted became law.
HB1418 a bill drafted by RTKNH, requires that public bodies non-public minutes meet the same minimum standard for content as their public minutes.
HB1419 a bill drafted by RTKNH, requires that public bodies record all actions during non-public meetings in such a manner that the the vote of each member is ascertained and recorded.
HB606 states that no fee shall be charged for the delivery or inspection, without copying, of records. This bill was similar to HB138, a bill drafted by RTKNH which was introduced in the 2015 session to accomplish the goal that ‘no fee shall be charged to make a governmental record available for inspection’. While HB138 was killed, the language from our bill was incorporated into HB606.
The passage of HB108 moves a key vote from private to public meetings, holding public officials more accountable. Prior to HB108, the Right-to-Know law was silent about where a public board could vote to seal minutes of a non-public meeting. Sealing the minutes keeps them private, locking up what happened at the non-public meeting. If the vote to seal is recorded in the sealed minutes, then how public officials voted is also hidden so there is no accountability. HB108 requires all public bodies to take this vote in public. For more details.
This is the first bill initiated by RTKNH that was signed into law.