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LWV-Hawaii Legislative Testimony

HB 640, HD1

Relating to
Public Agency Meetings

Senate Committee on Judiciary and Labor (JDL) - chair: Clayton Hee, vice chair: Maile S.L. Shimabukuro

Tuesday, March 15, 2011, 9:30 a.m.. Conference Room 016

Testifier: Jean Aoki, Legislative Committee, LWV of Hawaii

Click here to view HB640, HD1

Chair Hee, Vice Chair Shimabukuro, members of the Committee on Judiciary and Labor,

The League of Women Voters of Hawaii strongly supports HB 640, HD1 relating to public agency meetings which provides that any action by a board in an executive meeting shall be reported to the public when the board reconvenes in the open meeting at which the executive meeting is held.

Especially for boards that seem to conduct so much of their meetings in executive session excluding those like the Ethics Commission which deals largely with personal ethics allegations, the public is entitled to know what, if any, actions were taken outside of the open meeting unless the action taken itself is legally excused from disclosure for the moment. When situations are such that the public is willing to wait for the executive sessions to end to be apprised of any actions or even lack of actions, surely, this can be explained very simply instead of coming out and adjourning so abruptly as is done at times.

We feel that the passage of HB 640, HD1, and its implementation would increase the public's understanding of the boards' objectives and interpretations of the problems and solutions before them.

Thank you for hearing this bill.


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