Sunshine Law Modernization Bill To Be Decked for Final Reading

Posted on Apr 27, 2012 in What's New

April 27, 2012

The state Office of Information Practices (OIP) is pleased to report that the Senate Judiciary and Labor Committee has agreed to the House’s last version of OIP’s Sunshine Law bill, which clears the way for final reading of S.B. 2859, S.D. 1, H.D. 2. This bill will create two new permitted interactions, which would (1) allow testimony to be received at a meeting cancelled due to lack of quorum and (2) allow less than a quorum of board members to attend informational meetings or presentations on matters relating to board business, including a meeting of another entity, legislative hearing, convention, seminar, or community meeting. Adequate safeguards are also provided in the bill to prevent board members from committing to vote or making decisions, unless they are at a duly noticed public meeting of the board. The addition of these new permitted interactions will help to improve communication between board members and the public, to increase public participation in government, and to enhance board members’ understanding of board issues and various perspectives.

The proposal for a third, new permitted interaction, with safeguards to monitor and regulate social media usage by boards and their members, was not included in the final bill. Nevertheless, as OIP has previously advised in its March 30, 2012 What’s New article (see below), board members should continue to be cautious about using social media to communicate with each other regarding board business.

Finally, as reported yesterday, the conference committee passed out OIP’s appeals bill,S.B. 2858, S.D. 1, H.D. 2, C.D. 1, which will be decked for final reading.

For the facts and the latest on open government news, look here on the What’s New page, or ask to be placed on OIP’s e-mail list for weekly What’s New updates.