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Indiana General Assembly
House Bill 1003


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House Bill 1003

ARCHIVE (2012)

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DIGEST OF HB 1003 (Updated March 10, 2012 12:29 am - DI 87)

Public access issues. Allows a member of the governing body of any public agency of the state to participate in a meeting of the governing body by electronic communication only if: (1) the meeting meets all other requirements of the open door law; and (2) a majority of the governing body adopts a policy regarding the use of meetings by electronic communication. Provides that if a meeting by electronic communication is conducted, the governing body is required to: (1) have the greater of two members or one-third of the governing body physically present at the meeting place; and (2) take only roll call votes. Provides that unless a policy adopted by the governing body provides otherwise, a member who participates in a meeting by electronic communication: (1) is considered to be present at the meeting; (2) must be counted for purposes of establishing a quorum; and (3) may vote at the meeting. Requires each member of the governing body to physically attend at least one meeting annually. Specifies that a governing body may adopt a policy that allows the public to attend meetings conducted by electronic communication at a public place and where a member is physically present and participates by electronic communication, excluding executive sessions. Requires a governing body to post the governing body's electronic meeting policy on the Internet web site of the governing body or public agency. Specifies that the electronic meeting law does not affect a governing body's right to exclude the public from an executive session conducted by electronic communication. Repeals the individual statutory authorizations for the following state entities to have meetings by electronic communication: (1) State ethics commission. (2) Indiana bond bank board of directors. (3) Indiana public retirement system board of trustees. (4) Board for depositories. (5) Education savings authority board of directors. (6) State board of trustees or a committee of the state board of trustees of Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, Vincennes University, Ball State University, Indiana State University, Indiana University, Purdue University, and University of Southern Indiana. (7) Commission for higher education. (8) State workforce innovation council. (9) Boards, committees, or commissions administered by the professional licensing agency. (10) Department of financial institutions governing board. (11) Regional services council. Changes the number of annual meetings the following state entities are required to conduct: (1) The state budget committee. (2) The state employees appeals commission. (3) The board for depositories. (4) The commission for a drug free Indiana. Adds electronic media to the definition of "record" for purposes of the public records law. Eliminates a requirement that the public works division of the department of administration solicit sealed bids for public works projects by sending notices by mail and posting notices on a bulletin board in the agency's office. Requires the state police department to publish the following on the state police Internet web site: (1) The forms to be used by valuable metal dealers when purchasing valuable metal. (2) A list that describes valuable metal products that are particularly susceptible to theft. (3) The statutes and rules adopted by the superintendent of the state police department concerning the regulation of valuable metal dealers. Requires a public agency to: (1) allow inspection or copying; or (2) make copies; of a public record within a reasonable time after the request is received by the agency. Provides that a court may impose a civil penalty against: (1) an officer of a public agency or an individual employed in a management level position with a public agency; or (2) the public agency; for violating the open door law with specific intent to violate the law if the plaintiff obtained an advisory opinion from the public access counselor before filing an action. Provides that a court may impose a civil penalty against an officer, management level employee, or the public agency for violating the public records law if the officer, management level employee, or agency: (1) continues to deny a request for a public record after the public access counselor has issued an advisory opinion that instructs the agency to allow access to the public record; and (2) denies the request with the specific intent to unlawfully withhold a public record that is subject to disclosure. Provides that an individual or agency could be subject to a civil penalty if the individual intentionally charges a copying fee that the individual knows exceeds the amount set by statute, fee schedule, ordinance, or court order. Provides that a court may not impose a civil penalty unless the public access counselor has issued an advisory opinion that instructs the public agency to allow access to the public record before the lawsuit is filed. Provides that it is a defense to the imposition of a civil penalty under this section for a violation of the open door law or public records law if the individual acted in reliance on an opinion of the public agency's legal counsel or an opinion of the attorney general. Provides that a court may impose a civil penalty of: (1) not more than $100 for the first violation; and (2) not more than $500 for any additional violations. Provides that a court may: (1) impose only one civil penalty against an individual in an action even if the court finds that the individual committed multiple violations; and (2) impose another civil penalty against the individual in a separate action. Provides that if an officer of a state or local government agency orders a management level employee to: (1) not give proper notice of a public meeting or executive session; or (2) deny or interfere with a person's request to inspect or copy a public document; the employee is not subject to a civil penalty for violating the statute. Provides that the civil penalty provisions imposed for violation of the public records law does not apply to any matter regarding the work product of legislative services agency or the individual members and partisan staffs of the general assembly. Provides that if the governing body of a local government agency adopts a policy, the agency shall provide notice to anyone (other than news media) that makes an annual request for notice by: (1) transmitting the notice by electronic mail; or (2) posting the notice on the agency's Internet web site (if the agency has an Internet web site). Provides that a court may not declare a governmental action void for failure to give notice by electronic mail or posting on the local government agency's web site if the agency made a good faith effort to comply with the statute. Provides that a public agency may withhold personal information from public disclosure regarding an individual less than 18 years of age who participates in an activity conducted or supervised by a state educational institution, including personal information regarding the individual's parent or guardian. Requires (rather than allows) a court to review public records in camera to determine whether redaction of the records violates the public records act. Creates an education fund for a program administered by the public access counselor to train public officials and educate the public on the rights of the public and the responsibilities of public agencies under the public access laws. Provides that a public agency has discretion as to whether to disclose a public record requested by an offender containing personal information relating to a judge, law enforcement officer, or family member of a judge or law enforcement officer.
Current Status:
 Law Enacted
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