AN ACT relative to remote board meetings under the right-to-know law and authorizing certain procedures for rulemaking.


SPONSORS: Rep. McGuire, Merr. 29; Rep. P. Schmidt, Straf. 19; Rep. Hatch, Coos 6; Rep. Schuett, Merr. 20; Sen. Reagan, Dist 17


COMMITTEE: Judiciary






This bill permits public bodies to hold meetings electronically, subject to certain conditions.  This bill also permits photocopied and scanned versions of signatures to be used in rulemaking proceedings.


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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.






In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty One


AN ACT relative to remote board meetings under the right-to-know law and authorizing certain procedures for rulemaking.


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


1  New Paragraph; Access to Governmental Records and Meetings; Meetings Open to the Public.  Amend RSA 91-A:2 by inserting after paragraph III the following new paragraph:

IV.  A public body may, but is not required to, hold a meeting by electronic or other means of communication so long as the public body meets the following requirements:

(a) The public body provides public access to the meeting by telephone, with additional access possibilities by video or other electronic means.

(b)  The public body provides public notice of the necessary information for accessing the meeting.

(c)  The public body provides a mechanism for the public to alert the public body during the meeting if there are problems with access.

(d)  The public body adjourns the meeting if the public is unable to access the meeting.

2  Administrative Procedure Act; Definitions.  Amend RSA 541-A:1, V-a to read as follows:

V-a. "Electronic document" means a document which complies with requirements prescribed by the director for filing under paragraph VI and established in the drafting and procedure manual under RSA 541-A:8. [For electronic documents, a requirement during the rulemaking process for a signature accompanying the filing of an electronic document shall be met if such signature complies with the requirements of RSA 294-E.]

3  New Paragraph; Administrative Procedure Act; Definitions; Signature.  Amend RSA 541-A:1 by inserting after paragraph XV the following new paragraph:

XV-a.  "Signature" means a person's written name used as a form of identification, whether in original, photocopied, or scanned form.

4  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.