Testimony on HB 849 Relating to Public Agency Meetings
House Committee on Judiciary
Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 2:00 p.m.
Conference Room 325
Testifier: Jean Aoki, Chair, LWV Legislative Committee
Chair Waters, Vice Chair Oshiro, members,
We do have some reservations about HB 849.
Item (f) on the second page has been discussed in previous testimony on HB 128.
We have no problems with Section 2, (b) (2) which states that Presentations, including testimony or other informational oral or video presentation, may proceed during a meeting when a quorum has been lost because of a member’s temporary absence from the meeting.
Section 2 (c) provides that a quorum is required only to do business or for the purpose of discussion and voting required to validate an act of the board as part of official board business. Informational presentations do not require a quorum.
Is the presentation of testimony included in the phrase “informational presentations”?
The word “only” in the first line “that a quorum is required only to do business....... ” seems to imply that the rest are not important to the process of decision making.
We realize that individual unpaid members of boards who are employed in the private sector cannot always attend all of these meetings at a specific time. However we would want wording to suggest that informational briefings and listening to testimony are important to the understanding of these issues and knowing the opinions of the public and helpful to the deliberation and decision-making process.
Taking out the word “only” from the sentence does not change the requirement of a quorum for deliberation and decision making, but takes out the implication that its okay to miss the other parts.
Thank you for this opportunity to comment on HB 849.