With the upcoming adjournment of the 2016 session on May 5, 2016, it appears that only one bill of substantive interest to the state Office of Information Practices will have been passed by the Legislature this year. On April 28, 2016, the House and Senate approved final passage of S.B. 2121, S.D. 1, H.D.1, C.D. 1, which eliminates the sunset provisions of Act 221, SLH 2014, and thus essentially retains the Sunshine Law’s strict limitations over councilmembers’ attendance at another board or community group’s meeting. The bill also adds a new requirement for the County Councils to provide annual updates on their use of this type of limited meeting that is permitted under Section 92-3.5(b), H.R.S.
The Senate and House conferees did not agree on S.B. 2411, S.D. 2, H.D. 2, which proposed statewide standards for the use of police body cameras and their recordings. The conferees also did not agree on S.B. 475, S.D. 1, H.D. 2, which was resurrected from last session and had proposed amendments the Sunshine Law to require electronic notice and board packets for public meetings. Because these bills did not make it out of their conference committees by last Friday’s deadline, both are dead.
Two bills similar to S.B. 475 had died earlier in the session (S.B. 2293; H.B. 369). Other bills that died earlier in the legislative process were those that proposed to establish a duty of care to maintain government records (S.B. 2294; S.B. 140); provide address confidentiality for domestic violence victims (S.B. 2318); and repeal the UIPA exception from disclosure for suspended police officer records (S.B. 3016).
For copies of the bills, committee reports, testimony, committee referrals, status, and other information, please go to the Legislature’s website at capitol.hawaii.gov.