Thursday, February 26, 2015

Board Supports Sunshine Law Change

A Sunshine Law change supported by the Kaneohe Neighborhood Board is moving forward in the state Senate.

Senate Bill 419 would make it easier for members of a neighborhood board to attend meetings of other groups about issues that were before the board.

The Judiciary and Labor Committee will hold a public decision making on the bill on Friday, February 27, at 9:05 a.m. in Conference Room 016.

Board Favors Openness, Efficiency

The Kaneohe Neighborhood Board approved a position paper supporting the bill during its February 19 meeting.

The position paper says the bill would "remove the restriction on the number of neighborhood board members who can attend free public meetings of other entities. . . . Board members work very hard to gain an understanding of many issues and having to concern themselves with the number of other board members in attendance, is cumbersome and counter-productive to efficient education on issues."

SB 419 already has been approved by the Senate Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs.  A companion House Bill, HB 313, has not received a committee hearing.

Keep The Sun Shining, Board Says

The position paper also urges the Legislature not to hear legislation that would exclude neighborhood boards from compliance with the Sunshine Law. The paper says, "Introduction of any bill that lessens the public scrutiny into the methods and decision-making process is counter-productive to development and maintenance of the public trust and confidence."

That bill, SB 420, was deferred by the Senate Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs. A companion House Bill, HB 317, has not received a committee hearing.

Bill Tracking Made Easy

More information about these and other bills, including a handy tool for tracking legislation, is available the Legislature's website.

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