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OUR ADVOCACY

TESTIMONY

Advocacy for a More
Open Society

Public First testimony to the Legislature and other forums is available here.

Previous Testimony

2024 Legislative Session

H.B. 1610

Imposes a cap on costs charged to reproduce certain government records. Waives reproduction costs charged for the first one hundred pages if disclosure serves the public interest. Waives costs charged to duplicate certain government records in an electronic format. Imposes a cap on costs charged to search for, review, and segregate records. Provides for a waiver of fees when a record’s disclosure serves the public interest.

H.B. 1916

Prohibits government agencies, persons, and organizations from publicly disclosing the personal information of certain public servants and their families upon receiving a written request. Establishes a misdemeanor offense for individuals who post personal information on the Internet in reckless disregard of the risk of harm to certain public servants and their families. Authorizes the display of personal information that is relevant to and displayed as part of a news story, commentary, editorial, or other speech on a matter of public concern. Effective 1/1/2025.

H.B. 1975

Establishes accessibility standards for the distribution of public documents and media presentations by boards as defined in section 92-2, Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes. Declares that the general fund expenditure ceiling is exceeded. Makes an appropriation.

S.B. 2058

Defines community outreach board to mean a board established to serve in a community advisory capacity under a county commission or a county department. Includes community outreach boards under existing provisions of the Sunshine Law regarding neighborhood boards. Authorizes neighborhood board or community outreach board members to organize meetings or presentations related to official board business statewide.

S.B. 2116

Requires boards to use interactive conference technology to remotely conduct public meetings in conjunction with in-person meetings that allow for public participation. Requires boards to archive minutes of meetings on their websites.

S.B. 2139

Imposes a cap on costs charged to reproduce certain government records. Waives reproduction costs charged for the first one hundred pages if disclosure serves the public interest. Waives costs charged to duplicate certain government records in an electronic format. Imposes a cap on costs charged to search for, review, and segregate records. Provides for a waiver of fees when a record’s disclosure serves the public interest.

S.B. 2198

Provides that supplemental information received within 48 hours of a meeting of a board subject to state opening meetings law may be added to the board packet; provided that the public is promptly provided access to the supplemental information.

S.B. 2281

Establishes a continuous Legislature. Requires the Legislature to convene at least once a month. Removes language regarding special sessions, adjournment, and recesses. Creates a two-year deadline for a bill to be submitted for gubernatorial consideration. Standardizes the number of days that the Governor must approve or veto a bill submitted for consideration. Requires the passage of the legislative budget within 45 days before the end of each fiscal year. Makes members of the Legislature subject to the sunshine law. Prohibits members of the Legislature from having employment other than their work as members of the Legislature.

S.B. 2517

Required that heads of agencies that require board appointments be made through a publicly established process and timeline. Requires that a vote by a public agency board to hire an officer or employee be conducted in an open meeting.

S.B. 2636

Requires a board to offer remote testifiers an option to be seen and heard by the board and the public when offering remote testimony. Authorizes a board to remove or block any persons who intentionally disrupt or compromise the conduct of a meeting.

S.B. 2637

Clarifies that the third meeting of public agency meetings must occur not less than six calendar days after the second.

S.B. 2638

Requires boards to make available for public inspection board packets, if created, at the time the board packet is distributed to the board members but no later than two business days before the meeting. Carves out an exception by allowing public testimony to be distributed to board members within two business days before the meeting.

S.B. 2639

Updates the enforcement mechanisms for the Uniform Information Practices Act and the Sunshine Law.

S.B. 2686

Exempts certain personal information of public servants from government records that are subject to disclosure under the State’s Uniform Information Practices Act. Establishes within the State’s Address Confidentiality Program protection for public servants that prohibits upon written request from the public servant or representative any person or organization from disclosing certain personal information. Establishes the offense of unlawful publication of personal information that prohibits any person or organization from knowingly disclosing protected personal information of public officials with the intent to cause reputational harm, emotional injury, or bodily injury. Takes effect 9/1/2024.

S.B. 2830

Amends the definitions of “board”, “board business”, and “meeting” within state open meetings law to expand the scope of the law to include state and county policymaking groups, including groups created by emergency proclamations.

S.B. 3307

Requires the Director of the Office of Information Practices to adopt rules to establish a process for the selection and appointment of trusted public representatives. Allows the Director of the Office of Information Practices to assign trusted public representatives to observe board meetings closed to the public. Requires the Director of the Office of Information Practices to include in the Director’s annual report the activities of trusted public representatives. Requires trusted public representatives to submit a confidential report to the Director of the Office of Information Practices that a board meeting was conducted in conformance with chapter 92, Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes. Defines “trusted public representative”. Allows boards to hold certain meetings closed to the public if a trusted public representative is assigned to the meeting by the Director of the Office of Information Practices and is present at the meeting.