Bill Text: NH HB170 | 2017 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Relative to posting notice and minutes of public meetings on the public body's website.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Engrossed) 2017-03-29 - Hearing: 04/04/2017, Room 100, State House, 09:15 am; Senate Calendar 17 [HB170 Detail]

Download: New_Hampshire-2017-HB170-Introduced.html

HB 170 - AS INTRODUCED

 

 

2017 SESSION

17-0261

01/03

 

HOUSE BILL 170

 

AN ACT relative to posting notice and minutes of public meetings on the public body's website.

 

SPONSORS: Rep. Comeau, Carr. 5

 

COMMITTEE: Judiciary

 

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ANALYSIS

 

This bill requires notice of meetings and minutes of public meetings to be posted on the public body's Internet website, if one exists.

 

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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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

17-0261

01/03

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Seventeen

 

AN ACT relative to posting notice and minutes of public meetings on the public body's website.

 

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

 

1  Right-to-Know; Meetings Open to the Public.  Amend RSA 91-A:2, II to read as follows:

II.  Subject to the provisions of RSA 91-A:3, all meetings, whether held in person, by means of telephone or electronic communication, or in any other manner, shall be open to the public.  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 nonpublic sessions, shall include the names of members, persons appearing before the public bodies, and a brief description of the subject matter discussed and final decisions.  Subject to the provisions of RSA 91-A:3, minutes shall be promptly recorded and open to public inspection not more than 5 business days after the meeting, except as provided in RSA 91-A:6, and shall be treated as permanent records of any public body, or any subordinate body thereof, without exception.  Once they become available, the minutes shall also be posted on the public body's Internet website, if one exists.  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 one of which [may] shall be the public body's Internet website, if such exists, 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 public body, who shall post a notice of the time and place of such meeting as soon as practicable, and shall employ whatever further means are reasonably 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 town or guidelines or rules of order of any public body 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.

2  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect January 1, 2018.

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