HB 152 – FINAL VERSION
HOUSE BILL 152
This bill requires minutes of meetings under the right-to-know law to be available for public inspection 5 business days after the public meeting. Current law requires such minutes to be available within 144 hours of the public meeting.
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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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Seven
AN ACT relative to public access to meeting minutes.
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
59:1 Joint Committee on Legislative Facilities; Minutes of Meetings. Amend RSA 17-E:6 to read as follows:
17-E:6 Committee Records. A record of the minutes of committee and subcommittee meetings shall be available to the public and shall be maintained in accordance with the provisions of RSA 91-A:2, II. The minutes shall include the names of members in attendance and of persons appearing before the committee, and a brief description of the subjects discussed, votes taken, and final dispositions of all actions. The minutes shall be available and open to public inspection [
within 144 hours of] not more than 5 business days after the meeting. The record of the minutes of the joint committee on legislative facilities and the house and senate subcommittees shall be available at the office of legislative accounting. For the purposes of this section, a business day means the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday through Friday, excluding national and state holidays.
59:2 Right-to-Know Law; Minutes of Meetings. Amend RSA 91-A:2, II to read as follows:
II. All public proceedings shall be open to the public, and all persons shall be permitted to attend any meetings of those bodies or agencies. Except for town meetings, school district meetings and elections, no vote while in open session may be taken by secret ballot. Any person shall be permitted to use recording devices, including, but not limited to, tape recorders, cameras and videotape equipment, at such meetings. Minutes of all such meetings, including names of members, persons appearing before the bodies or agencies, and a brief description of the subject matter discussed and final decisions, shall be promptly recorded and open to public inspection [
within 144 hours of] not more than 5 business days after the public meeting, except as provided in RSA 91-A:6, and shall be treated as permanent records of any body or agency, or any subordinate body thereof, without exception. Except in an emergency or when there is a meeting of a legislative committee, a notice of the time and place of each such meeting, including a nonpublic session, shall be posted in 2 appropriate places or shall be printed in a newspaper of general circulation in the city or town at least 24 hours, excluding Sundays and legal holidays, prior to such meetings. An emergency shall mean a situation where immediate undelayed action is deemed to be imperative by the chairman or presiding officer of the body or agency who shall employ whatever means are available to inform the public that a meeting is to be held. The minutes of the meeting shall clearly spell out the need for the emergency meeting. When a meeting of a legislative committee is held, publication made pursuant to the rules of the house of representatives or the senate, whichever rules are appropriate, shall be sufficient notice. If the charter of any city or guidelines or rules of order of any body or agency described in RSA 91-A:1-a require a broader public access to official meetings and records than herein described, such charter provisions or guidelines or rules of order shall take precedence over the requirements of this chapter. For the purposes of this paragraph, a business day means the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday through Friday, excluding national and state holidays.
59:3 Effective Date. This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.
Approved: June 1, 2007
Effective: July 31, 2007