On July 6, 2020, the Legislature passed House Bill 285, H.D. 1, S.D. 2, C.D.1, Relating to Public Safety, which amends section 92F-14(b)(4), HRS, of the Uniform Information Practices Act (UIPA) to remove the special exemption from disclosure of suspended county police officers’ disciplinary records. The bill is pending before Governor David Ige. Upon enactment, the law will treat suspended county police officers like other public employees whose suspension or discharge records are open to public disclosure. Disclosure of misconduct records for county police officers, however, cannot occur before 90 days have elapsed following the issuance of a written decision sustaining the suspension or discharge in the highest nonjudicial grievance adjustment procedure, as compared to 30 calendar days for other public employees. The bill also authorizes the Law Enforcement Standards Board to revoke the certification of law enforcement officers for misconduct or failure to meet qualifying standards and gives the board until December 31, 2021 to finalize its standards and certification process.
Although the House Judiciary Committee had also passed out Senate Bill 2038, S.D. 1, H.D. 1, which would have temporarily amended the Sunshine Law to allow for virtual meetings, the bill was not heard by the House Finance Committee and will not be passed out before the Legislature adjourns on July 10, 2020.
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