Print Friendly HOUSE BILL NO. 212 – Meeting/executive sessn/confidentl
HOUSE BILL NO. 212
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H0212......................................................by STATE AFFAIRS
MEETINGS - Amends existing law relating to the Open Meeting Act to provide
that discussion conducted in executive sessions shall remain confidential;
to provide exceptions; to increase penalties; to provide disposition of
civil penalties; and to allow for removal of any public officer who
knowingly violates open meeting requirements.
02/14 House intro - 1st rdg - to printing
02/15 Rpt prt - to St Aff
]]]] LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO ]]]]
Fifty-eighth Legislature First Regular Session - 2005
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
HOUSE BILL NO. 212
BY STATE AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
1 AN ACT
2 RELATING TO THE OPEN MEETINGS LAW; AMENDING SECTION 67-2345, IDAHO CODE, TO
3 PROVIDE THAT DISCUSSIONS CONDUCTED IN EXECUTIVE SESSIONS SHALL REMAIN CON-
4 FIDENTIAL AND PROVIDING EXCEPTIONS; AMENDING SECTION 67-2347, IDAHO CODE,
5 TO INCREASE PENALTIES, TO PROVIDE DISPOSITION OF CIVIL PENALTIES AWARDED
6 PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION AND TO ALLOW FOR REMOVAL OF ANY PUBLIC OFFICER
7 WHO KNOWINGLY VIOLATES OPEN MEETING REQUIREMENTS.
8 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:
9 SECTION 1. That Section 67-2345, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
10 amended to read as follows:
11 67-2345. EXECUTIVE SESSIONS -- WHEN AUTHORIZED. (1) Nothing contained in
12 this act shall be construed to prevent, upon a two-thirds (2/3) vote recorded
13 in the minutes of the meeting by individual vote, a governing body of a public
14 agency from holding an executive session during any meeting, after the presid-
15 ing officer has identified the authorization under this act for the holding of
16 such executive session. An executive session may be held:
17 (a) To consider hiring a public officer, employee, staff member or indi-
18 vidual agent. This paragraph does not apply to filling a vacancy in an
19 elective office;
20 (b) To consider the evaluation, dismissal or disciplining of, or to hear
21 complaints or charges brought against, a public officer, employee, staff
22 member or individual agent, or public school student;
23 (c) To conduct deliberations concerning labor negotiations or to acquire
24 an interest in real property which is not owned by a public agency;
25 (d) To consider records that are exempt from disclosure as provided in
26 chapter 3, title 9, Idaho Code;
27 (e) To consider preliminary negotiations involving matters of trade or
28 commerce in which the governing body is in competition with governing bod-
29 ies in other states or nations;
30 (f) To consider and advise its legal representatives in pending litiga-
31 tion or where there is a general public awareness of probable litigation;
32 (g) By the commission of pardons and parole, as provided by law;
33 (h) By the sexual offender classification board, as provided by chapter
34 83, title 18, Idaho Code;
35 (i) By the custody review board of the Idaho department of juvenile cor-
36 rections, as provided by law.
37 (2) Labor negotiations may be conducted in executive session if either
38 side requests closed meetings. Notwithstanding the provisions of section
39 67-2343, Idaho Code, subsequent sessions of the negotiations may continue
40 without further public notice.
41 (3) No executive session may be held for the purpose of taking any final
42 action or making any final decision.
43 (4) Discussions made at executive sessions shall be kept confidential
1 except from:
2 (a) Members of the public body who met in executive session;
3 (b) The county prosecutor or the attorney general when investigating
4 alleged violations of the open meetings law;
5 (c) The legal counsel for the public body;
6 (d) Any individual authorized by legal counsel for the public agency;
7 (e) Any individual representing the public agency's insurance program
8 when adjusting a claim or assisting in loss control prevention.
9 (5) The governing body of a public agency shall instruct persons who are
10 present at the executive session regarding the confidentiality requirements of
11 the open meetings law.
12 (6) Disclosure of executive session information pursuant to this section
13 does not constitute a waiver of any privilege, including the attorney-client
14 privilege. Any person receiving executive session information pursuant to this
15 section shall not disclose that information except to the attorney general,
16 the county prosecutor, or legal counsel for the public body. For the purposes
17 of enforcing this chapter, disclosure may be made to a court in camera; pro-
18 vided however, any court that reviews executive session information shall take
19 appropriate action to protect privileged information.
20 (7) Upon qualification for office following an appointment or election to
21 a governmental body, as defined in section 67-2341, Idaho Code, the member
22 shall be furnished by the clerk of the governmental body with a copy of sec-
23 tions 67-2340 through 67-2347, Idaho Code. Each such member shall sign a writ-
24 ten acknowledgment that he has been provided with such a copy. The acknowledg-
25 ment shall be entered in the minutes of the governmental body.
26 SECTION 2. That Section 67-2347, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
27 amended to read as follows:
28 67-2347. VIOLATIONS. (1) If an action, or any deliberation or decision-
29 making that leads to an action, occurs at any meeting which fails to comply
30 with the provisions of sections 67-2340 through 67-2346, Idaho Code, such
31 action shall be null and void.
32 (2) Any member of the governing body governed by the provisions of sec-
33 tions 67-2340 through 67-2346, Idaho Code, who knowingly conducts or partici-
34 pates in a meeting which violates the provisions of this act shall be subject
35 to a fine not to exceed one five hundred fifty dollars ($ 1500) for a first
36 violation and not to exceed three hundred one thousand dollars ($ 31,000) for
37 each subsequent violation as a civil penalty. The civil penalties awarded pur-
38 suant to this section shall be deposited into the general fund of the public
39 body concerned. If the court determines that a public officer knowingly vio-
40 lated any provisions of the open meetings law, the court may remove the public
41 officer from office and declare the office vacant.
42 (3) The attorney general shall have the duty to enforce this act in rela-
43 tion to public agencies of state government, and the prosecuting attorneys of
44 the various counties shall have the duty to enforce this act in relation to
45 local public agencies within their respective jurisdictions. In the event that
46 there is reason to believe that a violation of the provisions of this act has
47 been committed by members of a board of county commissioners or, for any other
48 reason a county prosecuting attorney is deemed disqualified from proceeding to
49 enforce this act, the prosecuting attorney or board of county commissioners
50 shall seek to have a special prosecutor appointed for that purpose as provided
51 in section 31-2603, Idaho Code.
52 (4) Any person affected by a violation of the provisions of this act may
53 commence a civil action in the magistrate division of the district court of
1 the county in which the public agency ordinarily meets, for the purpose of
2 requiring compliance with provisions of this act. No private action brought
3 pursuant to this subsection shall result in the assessment of a civil penalty
4 against any member of a public agency and there shall be no private right of
5 action for damages arising out of any violation of the provisions of sections
6 67-2342 through 67-2346, Idaho Code. Any suit brought for the purpose of hav-
7 ing an action declared or determined to be null and void pursuant to subsec-
8 tion (1) of this section shall be commenced within thirty (30) days of the
9 time of the violation or alleged violation of the provisions of this act. Any
10 other suit brought under the provisions of this section shall be commenced
11 within one hundred eighty (180) days of the time of the violation or alleged
12 violation of the provisions of this act.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
The purpose of this legislation is to amend Idaho Code 67-2345
and 67-2347 to provide that discussions which take place in an
authorized executive session of a public body remain
confidential; to provide that any civil penalties awarded
pursuant to a violation of this Act be deposited into the general
fund of the public body concerned; and to further allow for the
removal of any public officer who knowingly violates any
provision of this Act.
There is no fiscal impact on the general fund.
Name: Cliff Green or John Watts, Idaho School Boards Association
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE/FISCAL NOTE H 212