Print Friendly HOUSE BILL NO. 224 – Meetings, public place/exec session
HOUSE BILL NO. 224
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H0224......................................................by STATE AFFAIRS
OPEN MEETINGS - Amends existing law relating to open meetings to require
that meetings be held in a public place; to define a term; to specify
matters to be included in the minutes of an executive session; to provide
an exception to when an executive session may be held; to increase fines;
and to extend a time limitation.
02/22 House intro - 1st rdg - to printing
02/23 Rpt prt - to St Aff
]]]] LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO ]]]]
Fifty-ninth Legislature First Regular Session - 2007
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
HOUSE BILL NO. 224
BY STATE AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
1 AN ACT
2 RELATING TO OPEN MEETINGS; AMENDING SECTION 67-2342, IDAHO CODE, TO REQUIRE
3 THAT MEETINGS BE HELD IN A PUBLIC PLACE AND TO DEFINE A TERM; AMENDING
4 SECTION 67-2344, IDAHO CODE, TO SPECIFY MATTERS TO BE INCLUDED IN THE MIN-
5 UTES OF AN EXECUTIVE SESSION AND TO MAKE A TECHNICAL CORRECTION; AMENDING
6 SECTION 67-2345, IDAHO CODE, TO PROVIDE AN EXCEPTION TO WHEN AN EXECUTIVE
7 SESSION MAY BE HELD AND TO REVISE TERMINOLOGY; AND AMENDING SECTION
8 67-2347, IDAHO CODE, TO INCREASE FINES AND TO EXTEND A TIME LIMITATION.
9 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:
10 SECTION 1. That Section 67-2342, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
11 amended to read as follows:
12 67-2342. GOVERNING BODIES -- REQUIREMENT FOR OPEN PUBLIC MEETINGS. (1)
13 Except as provided below, all meetings of a governing body of a public agency
14 shall be held in a public place and shall be open to the public and all per-
15 sons shall be permitted to attend any meeting except as otherwise provided by
16 this act. No decision at a meeting of a governing body of a public agency
17 shall be made by secret ballot. As used in this section, "public place" means
18 any area that is used or held out for use by the general public whether owned
19 or operated by public or private interests and excludes a private residence,
20 but does not include a site visit.
21 (2) Deliberations of the board of tax appeals created in chapter 38,
22 title 63, Idaho Code, the public utilities commission and the industrial com-
23 mission in a fully submitted adjudicatory proceeding in which hearings, if any
24 are required, have been completed, and in which the legal rights, duties or
25 privileges of a party are to be determined are not required by this act to
26 take place in a meeting open to the public. Such deliberations may, however,
27 be made and/or conducted in a public meeting at the discretion of the agency.
28 (3) Meetings of the Idaho life and health insurance guaranty association
29 established under chapter 43, title 41, Idaho Code, the Idaho insurance guar-
30 anty association established under chapter 36, title 41, Idaho Code, and the
31 surplus line association approved by the director of the Idaho department of
32 insurance as authorized under chapter 12, title 41, Idaho Code, are not
33 required by this act to take place in a meeting open to the public.
34 (4) A governing body shall not hold a meeting at any place where discrim-
35 ination on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, age or national origin is
37 (5) All meetings may be conducted using telecommunications devices which
38 enable all members of a governing body participating in the meeting to commu-
39 nicate with each other. Such devices may include, but are not limited to,
40 telephone or video conferencing devices and similar communications equipment.
41 Participation by a member of the governing body through telecommunications
42 devices shall constitute presence in person by such member at the meeting;
43 provided however, that at least one (1) member of the governing body, or the
1 director of the public agency, or the chief administrative officer of the pub-
2 lic agency shall be physically present at the location designated in the meet-
3 ing notice, as required under section 67-2343, Idaho Code, to ensure that the
4 public may attend such meeting in person. The communications among members of
5 a governing body must be audible to the public attending the meeting in person
6 and the members of the governing body.
7 SECTION 2. That Section 67-2344, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
8 amended to read as follows:
9 67-2344. WRITTEN MINUTES OF MEETINGS. (1) The governing body of a public
10 agency shall provide for the taking of written minutes of all its meetings.
11 Neither a full transcript nor a recording of the meeting is required, except
12 as otherwise provided by law. All minutes shall be available to the public
13 within a reasonable time after the meeting, and shall include at least the
14 following information:
15 (a) All members of the governing body present;
16 (b) All motions, resolutions, orders, or ordinances proposed and their
18 (c) The results of all votes, and upon the request of a member, the vote
19 of each member, by name ;.
20 (2) Minutes of executive sessions may be limited to material the disclo-
21 sure of which is not inconsistent with the provisions of section 67-2345,
22 Idaho Code, but shall contain sufficient detail to convey the general tenor of
23 the meeting. The minutes of each executive session shall include the general
24 subject matter and a summary of the proceedings.
25 SECTION 3. That Section 67-2345, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
26 amended to read as follows:
27 67-2345. EXECUTIVE SESSIONS -- WHEN AUTHORIZED. (1) Nothing contained in
28 this act shall be construed to prevent, upon a two-thirds (2/3) vote recorded
29 in the minutes of the meeting by individual vote, a governing body of a public
30 agency from holding an executive session during any meeting, after the presid-
31 ing officer has identified the authorization under this act for the holding of
32 such executive session. An executive session may be held:
33 (a) To consider hiring a public officer, employee, staff member or indi-
34 vidual agent. This paragraph does not apply to filling a vacancy in an
35 elective office;
36 (b) To consider the evaluation, dismissal or disciplining of, or to hear
37 complaints or charges brought against, a public officer, employee, staff
38 member or individual agent, or public school student;
39 (c) To conduct deliberations concerning labor negotiations or to acquire
40 an interest in real property which is not owned by a public agency; pro-
41 vided however, that a governing body organized under chapter 20, title 50,
42 Idaho Code, shall not hold an executive session to conduct deliberations
43 concerning the acquisition of any interest in real property;
44 (d) To consider records that are exempt from disclosure as provided in
45 chapter 3, title 9, Idaho Code;
46 (e) To consider preliminary negotiations involving matters of trade or
47 commerce in which the governing body is in competition with governing bod-
48 ies in other states or nations;
49 (f) To consider consult and advise its legal representatives in counsel
50 concerning pending litigation or where there is a general public awareness
51 of probable litigation;
1 (g) By the commission of pardons and parole, as provided by law;
2 (h) By the sexual offender classification board, as provided by chapter
3 83, title 18, Idaho Code;
4 (i) By the custody review board of the Idaho department of juvenile cor-
5 rections, as provided by law.
6 (2) Labor negotiations may be conducted in executive session if either
7 side requests closed meetings. Notwithstanding the provisions of section
8 67-2343, Idaho Code, subsequent sessions of the negotiations may continue
9 without further public notice.
10 (3) No executive session may be held for the purpose of taking any final
11 action or making any final decision.
12 SECTION 4. That Section 67-2347, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
13 amended to read as follows:
14 67-2347. VIOLATIONS. (1) If an action, or any deliberation or decision-
15 making that leads to an action, occurs at any meeting which fails to comply
16 with the provisions of sections 67-2340 through 67-2346, Idaho Code, such
17 action shall be null and void.
18 (2) Any member of the governing body governed by the provisions of sec-
19 tions 67-2340 through 67-2346, Idaho Code, who knowingly conducts or partici-
20 pates in a meeting which violates the provisions of this act shall be subject
21 to a fine not to exceed one hundred fifty thousand dollars ($1 5,000) for a
22 first violation and not to exceed three hundred two thousand dollars
23 ($ 32,000) for each subsequent violation as a civil penalty. Any fine assessed
24 pursuant to this subsection (2) shall be the individual responsibility of the
25 governing body member and shall not be paid by the public agency.
26 (3) The attorney general shall have the duty to enforce this act in rela-
27 tion to public agencies of state government, and the prosecuting attorneys of
28 the various counties shall have the duty to enforce this act in relation to
29 local public agencies within their respective jurisdictions. In the event that
30 there is reason to believe that a violation of the provisions of this act has
31 been committed by members of a board of county commissioners or, for any other
32 reason a county prosecuting attorney is deemed disqualified from proceeding to
33 enforce this act, the prosecuting attorney or board of county commissioners
34 shall seek to have a special prosecutor appointed for that purpose as provided
35 in section 31-2603, Idaho Code.
36 (4) Any person affected by a violation of the provisions of this act may
37 commence a civil action in the magistrate division of the district court of
38 the county in which the public agency ordinarily meets, for the purpose of
39 requiring compliance with provisions of this act. No private action brought
40 pursuant to this subsection shall result in the assessment of a civil penalty
41 against any member of a public agency and there shall be no private right of
42 action for damages arising out of any violation of the provisions of sections
43 67-2342 through 67-2346, Idaho Code. Any suit brought for the purpose of hav-
44 ing an action declared or determined to be null and void pursuant to subsec-
45 tion (1) of this section shall be commenced within thirty (30) ninety (90)
46 days of the time of the violation or alleged violation of the provisions of
47 this act. Any other suit brought under the provisions of this section shall be
48 commenced within one hundred eighty (180) days of the time of the violation or
49 alleged violation of the provisions of this act.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
The purpose of this legislation is to amend the open meeting laws
to ensure that the meetings are held in a public place, bring
clarity to what is included in the minutes of an executive
session, provide an exception to when a executive session may be
held and to increase the fines.
There is no fiscal impact.
Name: Rep. Jim Clark
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE/FISCAL NOTE H 224