H.R. NO.

















     WHEREAS, the House of Representatives finds that there is no requirement that legislative proceedings at the State capitol be recorded; and


     WHEREAS, shortly after the enactment of the Uniform Information Practices Act, chapter 92F, Hawaii Revised Statutes, concerns were raised by both legislators and staff that chapter 92F could be construed to require the legislature to make, maintain, and archive transcriptions of any recording of a public hearing if the recording was made by staff, regardless of whether it was required by policy or rule, or don so at the staff’s initiative; and


     WHEREAS, because the costs of preparing transcriptions were deemed to be prohibitive, staff were instructed never to bring a tape recorder to any public hearing even if it was intended for personal note-taking use; and


     WHEREAS, more than twenty years have passed since the enactment of the Uniform Information Practices Act, and the technology used by the legislature has advanced tremendously; and


     WHEREAS, among other things, every legislative office in the State capitol is not connected by cable to every legislative conference room and is able to monitor an audio or audiovisual feed of legislative proceedings; and


     WHEREAS, as a result, it is a common practice for legislative staff to use a television and a Digital Versatile Disc recorder to record the proceedings of standing committees for official use; and


     WHEREAS, these recordings serve as an effective tool for individual legislative offices, especially when staff must monitor multiple hearings occurring simultaneously; and


     WHEREAS, but there is presently no required systematic recording of these proceedings or publicly accessible archiving of them; and


     WHEREAS, the House of Representatives also finds that the contractor for the legislative broadcast program jointly operated by the house of representatives and the senate pursuant to section 21G-3, Hawaii Revised Statutes, produces televised coverage of certain noteworthy committee hearings and floor sessions; and


     WHEREAS, this coverage is currently provided live to the public in three of four counties on a public, educational, or governmental access channel operated pursuant to chapter 440G, Hawaii Revised Statutes; and


     WHEREAS, pursuant to contract, the televised broadcast provides both an audio and a visual signal, multiple camera angles, high quality sound, and closed captioning; and


     WHEREAS, the coverage produced by the legislative broadcast program’s contractor is also recorded, made available for rebroadcast, and archived on the legislature’s website; and


     WHEREAS, currently, the legislative broadcast program expends approximately $175,000 per year for production of this coverage, which requires set up and take down of production equipment by contractor staff for each legislative proceeding; and


     WHEREAS, yet, the approximately three hundred fifty hours of annual broadcast coverage produced by the contractor represents perhaps 10 per cent to 15 per cent of the approximately one thousand hearings, briefings, and floor sessions conducted each year; and


     WHEREAS, although all hearings, briefings, and floor sessions produced by the legislative broadcast program’s contractor are recorded and archived to the legislature’s website, only a limited number of other proceedings are no recorded and archived; and


     WHEREAS, specifically, floor sessions not produced for broadcast by the contractor are recorded by arrangement between the respective body and the Oahu public, educational, or government access channel operator; and


     WHEREAS, the cost of recording these proceedings does not include the production costs incurred by the legislative broadcast program’s contractor because they are taken from the existing audio and video infrastructure, involve little or no additional personal cost, and are not closed captioned; and


     WHEREAS, potentially, recordings of committee hearings and briefings not covered by the legislative broadcast program contractor could be made using the audio or video feed provided by the existing infrastructure in each legislative conference room and then archived to the legislature’s website; and


     WHEREAS, the cost of recording and archiving these proceedings would be considerably less than those produced by the contractor because they would also be take from the existing audio and video infrastructure with no additional production costs, including costs attributable to the use of multiple cameras, high quality audio, or closed captioning; and


     WHEREAS, it is incumbent upon this House of Representatives to conduct its activities in the open, and to fully utilize its existing facilities and infrastructure, as well as to make every effort to promote public accessibility for all of its proceedings and activities; now, therefore,


     BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-Seventh Legislature of the State of Hawaii, that Rule 19 of the Rules of the House of Representatives of the Twenty-Seventh State Legislature, 2013-2014, as approved pursuant to the adoption of House Resolution No. 11, Regular Session of 2013, on January 28, 2013, is amended to read as follows:


     Rule 19. Open Committee Meetings


          Every committee authorized and/or established under Part III of these Rules shall be a committee of the House.  Every meeting of a committee of the House or of a committee composed of a member or members from the House and the Senate held for the purpose of making decisions on matters referred to the committee shall be open to the public; provided that certain kinds of meetings, including executive sessions, organizational meetings, partisan caucuses, and meetings the subject of which involves the invasion of a person’s right to privacy if made public, need not be open to the public.


          Every meeting of a special committee, interim committee, or the Advisory Committee on Rules and Procedure shall be noticed in the same manner as applicable to a standing committee.


          The House shall make an audio or audiovisual recording of all of its public hearings and informational briefings held at the state capitol and shall maintain an archive of the recordings, which shall be made available to the public to the extent funds are made available for such purposes and subject to such restrictions and procedures relating thereto as may be provided by law or any applicable rules of the legislature.


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that new language is underscored; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Rules of the House of Representatives as amended hereto are hereby adopted.









Report Title: 

House Rules, Rule 19, Recording of House Proceedings