Rep. Smith: Reinstate commission to hear Right-to-Know complaints
“The Right-to-Know Law is always under attack from one perspective or another,” Smith said. Smith spoke Monday, days after her committee heard details about six bills that seek to tinker with the law.
• Tighten an exemption for closed-door meetings of a public body. Notices of closed meetings would have to be posted three days in advance and an explanation given for closing the meeting. Minutes of closed meetings would have to be kept and reviewed annually to determine if they could be released. A judge would have to invalidate any actions taken at a meeting where the Right-to-Know Law was not followed.
• Exempt firearm records, includings licenses, applications and permits, from public disclosure.
• Extending the law to nonprofit organizations, such as a downtown beautification group that operates a business improvement district for a city or town.
The New Hampshire Municipal Association opposed the law that would tighten the exemption for closed-door meetings. Lobbyist Cordell Johnston said the Right-to-Know Law is not perfect, but working well as written. It has a lot of support in the Legislature, he said.
Johnston said several of the bills — such as the firearms proposal and the business-improvement district — seem to have a narrow focus.
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