Following the first decking deadline for bills that will cross over to the non-originating body, here is an update from the state Office of Information Practices (OIP) regarding bills that directly relate to OIP or the laws it administers.
HB 461 / SB 472, SD 1 – Relating to the Office of Information Practices. Transfers OIP to the Department of Accounting and General Services for administrative purposes only. OIP supports the bill.
HB 287, HD 1 – Relating to the Uniform Information Practices Act. Amends HRS § 92F-14 to add, as an example of a significant privacy interest that may be protected, information whose disclosure would create a substantial and demonstrable risk of physical harm to an individual. OIP opposed the original bill, which had applied a subjective standard based on “harm, embarrassment, inconvenience, or unfairness” to an individual, and now supports the amendments made in the HD 1.
SB 475, SD 1 – Relating to Open Government. Allows the electronic posting of meeting notices under the Sunshine Law, as well as e-mail notice to persons on a board’s mailing list. As OIP’s amendment was included in the SD 1, we support the bill, except for its intentionally defective date.
HB 150, HD 1 – Relating to Sunshine Law. Allows board members to transmit public records to other board members. OIP suggested amending the bill to narrow the public records to those specified in HRS Sec. 92F-12(a) and to limiting the content of transmittal messages in order to prevent serial communications among board members. However, the HD 1 has not made the amendments suggested by OIP. Additionally, the HD 1 includes a new provision to allow a board member to waive the termination of a meeting held using interactive technology, if the audio connection is lost, provided that no vote is taken and there is a board quorum elsewhere.
SB 465, SD 1 – Relating to Government Records. Like HB 150, this bill allows board members to transmit public records to other board members. The SD 1 included OIP’s suggestion to limit the content of transmittal messages in order to prevent serial communications among board members, but it did not narrow the bill to apply only to those specified in HRS Sec. 92F-12(a).
SB 497, SD 1 – Relating to Police Departments. Repeals the exemption from disclosure of police disciplinary records. OIP supports the bill, but it was held back in the Senate Judiciary and Labor Committee pending the Hawaii Supreme Court’s consideration of a case involving similar issues.
SB 652, SD 1 – Relating to Public Agency Meetings. Requires boards to report any final action taken during an executive session, providing that the disclosure is not inconsistent with the purpose of convening the closed meeting. OIP supported the original bill, but the SD 1 has amended it to also require disclosure of the “discussions” during an executive session.
SB 723, SD1 / HB 1067 – Relating to Community Meetings. Allows all members of a county council to jointly attend community meetings or presentations, with minimal restrictions. OIP opposes the bill because the 2014 Legislature created a new limited meeting addressing this same issue, which allows all members of a county council to jointly attend community meetings or presentations with various restrictions and requirements designed to protect the public interest. A new checklist and form for a council to request OIP’s waiver of the videotaping requirement for a limited meeting has been posted to the Sunshine Law forms page on oip.hawaii.gov. Both bills have been deferred and are not expected to cross over to the non-originating body this session.
There may be other bills that will be considered by the Legislature and are of interest to OIP. Additionally, OIP’s support or opposition to a bill may change, depending on how a bill is amended. The bills, committee reports, and status can be found on the Legislature’s website at capitol.hawaii.gov.
For the latest open government news, check for archived copies of What’s New articles that are posted here, or e-mailed upon request. To be added to OIP’s e-mail list, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, if you would like to receive What’s New articles or attachments in a Word format, please contact OIP at (808) 586-1400 or email@example.com.