The passage of the New and Improved New Hampshire Right To Know Law (as yet unsigned by Governor Lynch) redefines "public body" in a way that makes it more difficult for taxpayer to observe the inner workings of their government.
An individual executive or administrative officer of a political subdivision shall not constitute a public body, and staff members of an agency or department of a political subdivision meeting as a group shall not constitute a public body.
Adding this provision will turn any existing level of compliance to a request for information about what your government is doing into a debate about whether the information even comes from a "public body." This is a premeditated assault on your patience. By making the act of defining the nature of the information more intangible it is easier to wear out would be knowledge hunters well before the matter of the material itself is even considered. Second, it will dissuade people from bothering altogether. And third, it is a form of censorship in which it will become easier to hide municipal corruption.
It means that (as the Union Leader pointed out this morning) "…any records created by a mayor, town manager or department head, and any records created during municipal staff meetings, would arguably be unavailable to the public."
Is that the kind of open government the Democrat majority in the NH House and Senate is promoting? That the state needs to protect the actions of municipalities from the tax payers that support them?
It is. They passed it. So now, in an election year, we get to see if Governor Lynch agrees with them.
Cross posted at NH Insider