Bill description: HB 606 would require any committee, council, agency, or other public entity established by an Executive Order to abide by the Idaho Open Meetings Law.
Does it in any way restrict public access to information related to government activity or otherwise compromise government transparency or accountability? Conversely, does it increase public access to information related to government activity or increase government transparency or accountability?
Via Executive Order, the governor can establish public agencies, of which there are currently 28. These agencies often make policy decisions and engage in public business, yet, they are not required to open their meetings to the public in the same manner that all other Idaho public entities must.
The Open Meetings Law requires that meetings held by public agencies are open to the public and that the agencies fulfill requirements such as post agendas for their meetings and publish minutes afterward.
HB 606 would require agencies that are established through Executive Order to follow the state Open Meetings Law with the exception of the Cybersecurity Task Force and the governor’s committee that deliberates the recipient of the Idaho Medal of Achievement.
Subjecting the agencies established through Executive Order, which include the Health Care Advisory Panel and the Idaho Criminal Justice Commission, would hold them more accountable to the public.
The inclusion of entities established through Executive Order with those that must abide by the Open Meetings Law would sunset in 2023 under HB 606.
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