HOUSE BILL 392
52nd legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2015
Kelly K. Fajardo
RELATING TO OPEN GOVERNMENT; REQUIRING LIVE VIDEO AND AUDIO TRANSMISSION VIA THE INTERNET OF MEETINGS OF PUBLIC ENTITIES CONDUCTING PUBLIC BUSINESS; REQUIRING COPIES OF TRANSMISSIONS TO BE RETAINED AS PUBLIC RECORDS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. Section 10-15-1 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1974, Chapter 91, Section 1, as amended) is amended to read:
"10-15-1. FORMATION OF PUBLIC POLICY--PROCEDURES FOR OPEN MEETINGS--EXCEPTIONS AND PROCEDURES FOR CLOSED MEETINGS.--
A. In recognition of the fact that a representative government is dependent upon an informed electorate, it is declared to be public policy of this state that all persons are entitled to the greatest possible information regarding the affairs of government and the official acts of those officers and employees who represent them. The formation of public policy or the conduct of business by vote shall not be conducted in closed meeting. All meetings of any public body except the legislature and the courts shall be public meetings, and all persons so desiring shall be permitted to attend and listen to the deliberations and proceedings. Reasonable efforts shall be made to accommodate the use of audio and video recording devices.
B. All meetings of a quorum of members of any board, commission, administrative adjudicatory body or other policymaking body of any state agency or institution or any agency or authority of any county, municipality, district or political subdivision, held for the purpose of formulating public policy, including the development of personnel policy, rules, regulations or ordinances, discussing public business or taking any action within the authority of or the delegated authority of any board, commission or other policymaking body are declared to be public meetings open to the public at all times, except as otherwise provided in the constitution of New Mexico or the Open Meetings Act. No public meeting once convened that is otherwise required to be open pursuant to the Open Meetings Act shall be closed or dissolved into small groups or committees for the purpose of permitting the closing of the meeting.
C. A board, commission, administrative adjudicatory body or other policymaking body conducting a meeting required to be a public meeting open to the public pursuant to Subsection A of this section shall provide for live video and audio transmission of that public meeting via the internet no later than January 1, 2016 unless exempted pursuant to Subsection D or G of this section. The location or uniform resource locator of the internet web site where the live transmission is or will be available shall be provided in the notice of the public meeting required by the Open Meetings Act. The internet web site shall be a public access web site or a web site available to the public without cost or subscription. The department of information technology, when requested, shall provide technical assistance to the board, commission, administrative adjudicatory body or other policymaking body to implement the live video and audio transmission required by this subsection.
D. After a request by a board, commission, administrative adjudicatory body or other policymaking body for technical assistance, the department of information technology shall make a determination as to whether providing a live video and audio transmission of a particular public meeting in a particular location at a particular time is technically or logistically practicable. The department shall issue the determination in writing to the affected entity. If live audio transmission is determined to be practicable but video transmission is not, the written determination shall so indicate. If transmission is determined to be impracticable, the written determination shall exempt the entity from providing a live video and audio transmission or from providing a live video transmission, as the case may be, for the particular public meeting as otherwise required by the Open Meetings Act.
E. A board, commission, administrative adjudicatory body or other policymaking body may receive a twelve-month exemption pursuant to Subsection D of this section. An entity receiving an exemption shall take all actions reasonable and necessary to schedule its public meetings at times and places where live video and audio transmission of the meetings can occur.
F. A board, commission, administrative adjudicatory body or other policymaking body providing a live video and audio transmission of a public meeting, or a live audio transmission of a public meeting pursuant to Subsection D of this section, shall also produce an electronic media exact copy of the transmission. The copy shall be a public record. The copy shall be retained and disposed of by the entity producing it in accordance with a records retention and disposition schedule adopted by the state commission of public records pursuant to the Public Records Act.
G. The provisions of Subsections C, D, E and F of this section do not apply to any board, commission, administrative adjudicatory body or other policymaking body of:
(1) a municipality with a population, as shown by the most recent federal decennial census, of less than fifteen thousand;
(2) a county other than a class A county; or
(3) a political subdivision of the state other than a county or municipality.
[C.] H. If otherwise allowed by law or rule of the public body, a member of a public body may participate in a meeting of the public body by means of a conference telephone or other similar communications equipment when it is otherwise difficult or impossible for the member to attend the meeting in person; provided that each member participating by conference telephone can be identified when speaking, all participants are able to hear each other at the same time and members of the public attending the meeting are able to hear any member of the public body who speaks during the meeting.
[D.] I. Any meetings at which the discussion or adoption of any proposed resolution, rule, regulation or formal action occurs and at which a majority or quorum of the body is in attendance, and any closed meetings, shall be held only after reasonable notice to the public. The affected body shall determine at least annually in a public meeting what notice for a public meeting is reasonable when applied to that body. That notice shall include broadcast stations licensed by the federal communications commission and newspapers of general circulation that have provided a written request for such notice.
[E.] J. A public body may recess and reconvene a meeting to a day subsequent to that stated in the meeting notice if, prior to recessing, the public body specifies the date, time and place for continuation of the meeting and, immediately following the recessed meeting, posts notice of the date, time and place for the reconvened meeting on or near the door of the place where the original meeting was held and in at least one other location appropriate to provide public notice of the continuation of the meeting. Only matters appearing on the agenda of the original meeting may be discussed at the reconvened meeting.
[F.] K. Meeting notices shall include an agenda containing a list of specific items of business to be discussed or transacted at the meeting or information on how the public may obtain a copy of such an agenda. Except in the case of an emergency or in the case of a public body that ordinarily meets more frequently than once per week, at least seventy-two hours prior to the meeting, the agenda shall be available to the public and posted on the public body's web site, if one is maintained. A public body that ordinarily meets more frequently than once per week shall post a draft agenda at least seventy-two hours prior to the meeting and a final agenda at least thirty-six hours prior to the meeting. Except for emergency matters, a public body shall take action only on items appearing on the agenda. For purposes of this subsection, "emergency" refers to unforeseen circumstances that, if not addressed immediately by the public body, will likely result in injury or damage to persons or property or substantial financial loss to the public body. Within ten days of taking action on an emergency matter, the public body shall report to the attorney general's office the action taken and the circumstances creating the emergency; provided that the requirement to report to the attorney general is waived upon the declaration of a state or national emergency.
[G. The] L. A board, commission, administrative adjudicatory body or other policymaking body shall keep written minutes of all its meetings. The minutes shall include at a minimum the date, time and place of the meeting, the names of members in attendance and those absent, the substance of the proposals considered and a record of any decisions and votes taken that show how each member voted. All minutes are open to public inspection. Draft minutes shall be prepared within ten working days after the meeting and shall be approved, amended or disapproved at the next meeting where a quorum is present. Minutes shall not become official until approved by the policymaking body.
[H.] M. The provisions of Subsections A, B, C and [G] L of this section do not apply to:
(1) meetings pertaining to issuance, suspension, renewal or revocation of a license, except that a hearing at which evidence is offered or rebutted shall be open. All final actions on the issuance, suspension, renewal or revocation of a license shall be taken at an open meeting;
(2) limited personnel matters; provided that for purposes of the Open Meetings Act, "limited personnel matters" means the discussion of hiring, promotion, demotion, dismissal, assignment or resignation of or the investigation or consideration of complaints or charges against any individual public employee; provided further that this paragraph is not to be construed as to exempt final actions on personnel from being taken at open public meetings, nor does it preclude an aggrieved public employee from demanding a public hearing. Judicial candidates interviewed by any commission shall have the right to demand an open interview;
(3) deliberations by a public body in connection with an administrative adjudicatory proceeding. For purposes of this paragraph, "administrative adjudicatory proceeding" means a proceeding brought by or against a person before a public body in which individual legal rights, duties or privileges are required by law to be determined by the public body after an opportunity for a trial-type hearing. Except as otherwise provided in this section, the actual administrative adjudicatory proceeding at which evidence is offered or rebutted and any final action taken as a result of the proceeding shall occur in an open meeting;
(4) the discussion of personally identifiable information about any individual student, unless the student or the student's parent or guardian requests otherwise;
(5) meetings for the discussion of bargaining strategy preliminary to collective bargaining negotiations between the policymaking body and a bargaining unit representing the employees of that policymaking body and collective bargaining sessions at which the policymaking body and the representatives of the collective bargaining unit are present;
(6) that portion of meetings at which a decision concerning purchases in an amount exceeding two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) that can be made only from one source is discussed and that portion of meetings at which the contents of competitive sealed proposals solicited pursuant to the Procurement Code are discussed during the contract negotiation process. The actual approval of purchase of the item or final action regarding the selection of a contractor shall be made in an open meeting;
(7) meetings subject to the attorney-client privilege pertaining to threatened or pending litigation in which the public body is or may become a participant;
(8) meetings for the discussion of the purchase, acquisition or disposal of real property or water rights by the public body;
(9) those portions of meetings of committees or boards of public hospitals where strategic and long-range business plans or trade secrets are discussed; and
(10) that portion of a meeting of the gaming control board dealing with information made confidential pursuant to the provisions of the Gaming Control Act.
[I.] N. If any meeting is closed pursuant to the exclusions contained in Subsection [H] M of this section:
(1) the closure, if made in an open meeting, shall be approved by a majority vote of a quorum of the policymaking body; the authority for the closure and the subject to be discussed shall be stated with reasonable specificity in the motion calling for the vote on a closed meeting; the vote shall be taken in an open meeting; and the vote of each individual member shall be recorded in the minutes. Only those subjects announced or voted upon prior to closure by the policymaking body may be discussed in a closed meeting; or
(2) if a closure is called for when the policymaking body is not in an open meeting, the closed meeting shall not be held until public notice, appropriate under the circumstances, stating the specific provision of the law authorizing the closed meeting and stating with reasonable specificity the subject to be discussed is given to the members and to the general public.
[J.] O. Following completion of any closed meeting, the minutes of the open meeting that was closed or the minutes of the next open meeting if the closed meeting was separately scheduled shall state that the matters discussed in the closed meeting were limited only to those specified in the motion for closure or in the notice of the separate closed meeting. This statement shall be approved by the public body under Subsection [G] L of this section as part of the minutes."
SECTION 2. Section 10-15-2 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1974, Chapter 91, Section 2, as amended) is amended to read:
"10-15-2. STATE LEGISLATURE--MEETINGS.--
A. Unless otherwise provided by joint house and senate rule, all meetings of any committee or [policy-making] policymaking body of the legislature [held for the purpose of discussing public business or for the purpose of taking any action within the authority of or the delegated authority of the committee or body] are declared to be public meetings open to the public at all times. Reasonable notice of meetings shall be given to the public by publication or by the presiding officer of each house prior to the time the meeting is scheduled.
B. No later than the second session of the fifty-second legislature, the legislature shall provide to the public on its internet web site a live audio and video stream of its sessions and public meetings unless the legislative council service determines in writing that providing a live video and audio transmission of a particular public meeting in a particular location and at a particular time is technically or logistically impracticable. If live audio transmission is practicable but video transmission is not, the written determination shall so indicate. The written determination shall exempt the legislature from providing a live video and audio transmission or from providing a live video transmission, as the case may be, for the particular public meeting as otherwise required by the Open Meetings Act.
C. The legislature shall produce an electronic media exact copy of the live video and audio transmission or audio transmission of each public meeting. The copy shall be a public record. The copy shall be retained and disposed of by the legislature in accordance with a records retention and disposition schedule adopted by the state commission of public records pursuant to the Public Records Act.
[B.] D. The provisions of Subsection A of this section do not apply to matters relating to personnel or matters adjudicatory in nature or to investigative or quasi-judicial proceedings relating to ethics and conduct or to a caucus of a political party.
[C.] E. For the purposes of this section, "meeting" means a gathering of a quorum of the members of a standing or interim committee or policymaking body or conference committee held for the purpose of [taking any action within the authority of the committee or body] discussing public business."
SECTION 3. EFFECTIVE DATE.--The effective date of the provisions of this act is July 1, 2015.
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