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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 2 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 onefive hundred fiftydollars ($ 1500) for a first 36 violation and not to exceed three hundredone 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 3 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 RS 14837 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. FISCAL NOTE There is no fiscal impact on the general fund. Contact Name: Cliff Green or John Watts, Idaho School Boards Association Phone: 208-854-1476 STATEMENT OF PURPOSE/FISCAL NOTE H 212