Right to Know: HB1417

Please ask your N.H. Representative to support HB1417. This bill starts to fix a major loophole in the Right-to-Know Law (RSA 91-A). Did you know your local board can meet completely in secret? No notice, no public, and no minutes or other record. They can meet completely in secret whenever they consult with legal counsel or negotiate a union contract. These so-called “non-meetings” happen all the time and sometimes lead to abuse as happened with the Oyster River School Board a few years ago.

HB1417 doesn’t stop non-meetings, but only requires a minimal, after-the-fact public record that they met. The record has no confidential details, just logistics. But, by shining a crack of light in this very dark corner, this bill will help stop some of the abuse. It is a small step, imposes a minimal burden, but will greatly increase transparency.

However, the House Judiciary Committee recommended 11-7 to kill HB1417. This bill goes to the House floor Wednesday, March 9th. If you agree that you should at least be aware whenever your public board is meeting on your behalf, contact your N.H. Representative now and ask them to support HB1417.

David Saad
Right to Know New Hampshire
184 Wheeler Lane
Rumney NH

With all the town meeting activity, this post temporarily fell through the cracks

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