Changes effective 1 Jan 1992 by session law 1991, 217. Prior version was effective 26 Aug 1967 by session law 1967, 251.

91-A:2 Meetings Open to the Public.

I. For the purpose of this section, a "meeting" shall mean the convening of a quorum of the membership of a public body, as provided in RSA 91-A:1-a, to discuss or act upon a matter or matters over which the public body has supervision, control, jurisdiction or advisory power. "Meeting" shall not include:

(a) Any chance meeting or a social meeting neither planned nor intended for the purpose of discussing matters relating to official business and at which no decisions are made; however, no such chance or social meeting shall be used to circumvent the spirit of this chapter;

(b) Strategy or negotiations with respect to collective bargaining; or

(c) Consultation with legal counsel.

II. All public proceedings shall be open to the public, and all persons shall be permitted to attend any meetings of those bodies or agencies. Except for town meetings, school district meetings and elections, no vote while in open session may be taken by secret ballot. Any person shall be permitted to use recording devices, including, but not limited to, tape recorders, cameras and videotape equipment, at such meetings. Minutes of all such meetings, including names of members, persons appearing before the bodies or agencies, and a brief description of the subject matter discussed and final decisions, shall be promptly recorded and open to public inspection within 144 hours of the public meeting, except as provided in RSA 91-A:6, and shall be treated as permanent records of any body or agency, or any subordinate body thereof, without exception. Except in an emergency or when there is a meeting of a legislative committee, a notice of the time and place of each such meeting, including a[n executive] nonpublic session, shall be posted in 2 appropriate places or shall be printed in a newspaper of general circulation in the city or town at least 24 hours, excluding Sundays and legal holidays, prior to such meetings. An emergency shall mean a situation where immediate undelayed action is deemed to be imperative by the chairman or presiding officer of the body or agency who shall employ whatever means are available to inform the public that a meeting is to be held. The minutes of the meeting shall clearly spell out the need for the emergency meeting. When a meeting of a legislative committee is held, publication made pursuant to the rules of the house of representatives or the senate, whichever rules are appropriate, shall be sufficient notice. If the charter of any city or guidelines or rules of order of any body or agency described in RSA 91-A:1-a require[s] a broader public access to official meetings and records than herein described, such charter provisions or guidelines or rules of order shall take precedence over the requirements of this chapter.

91-A:3 [Executive]Nonpublic Sessions.

I.(a) Bodies or agencies [may]shall not meet in [executive]nonpublic session[Moved to subparagraph I(b): for deliberations only after a majority vote of members present, which shall be recorded in the minutes of the meeting], except for one of the purposes set out in paragraph II. [All]No session[s] at which [information, ]evidence, information or testimony in any form is received[, except as provided in paragraph II,] shall be [open]closed to the public, except as provided in paragraph II. [No ordinances, orders, rules, resolutions, regulations, contracts, appointments or other official actions shall be finally approved in executive session except as provided in paragraph II.] [Moved to paragraph III: The record of all actions shall be available for public inspection promptly, except as provided in paragraph II.] No body or agency may enter nonpublic session, except pursuant to a motion properly made and seconded.

(b) [Moved from paragraph II:]Any motion to [go into]enter [executive]nonpublic session shall stat[ing]e [which]on its face the specific exemption under [this ]paragraph II [is claimed shall be made ...]which is relied upon as foundation for the nonpublic session. [Moved to subparagraph I(b): A body or agency may exclude the public only if a recorded]The vote on any such motion shall be by roll call[ vote is taken to go into executive session] [Moved from subparagraph I(a): for deliberations only after a majority], and shall require the affirmative vote of the majority of members present[, which shall be recorded in the minutes of the meeting].

[Moved from paragraph II: The matters](c) All discuss[ed]ions held and decisions made during[ the] [executive]nonpublic session shall be confined to the matters [stated]set out in the motion.

II. [Moved to paragraph I(b): A body or agency may exclude the public only if a recorded roll call vote is taken to go into executive session.] [Moved to subparagraph I(b): The matters discussed during the executive session shall be confined to the matters stated in the motion.] [Moved to subparagraph I(b): A motion to go into executive session stating which exemption under this paragraph is claimed shall be made ][o]Only [when the body or agency is]the following matters shall be consider[ing]ed or act[ing]ed upon [the following matters]in nonpublic session:

(a) The dismissal, promotion or compensation of any public employee or the disciplining of such employee, or the investigation of any charges against him, unless the employee affected requests an open meeting.

(b) The hiring of any person as a public employee.

(c) Matters which, if discussed in public, [would ]likely would affect adversely the reputation of any person, other than a member of the body or agency itself, unless such person requests an open meeting.

(d) Consideration of the acquisition, sale or lease of property which, if discussed in public, would likely benefit a party or parties whose interests are adverse to those of the general community.

(e) Consideration or negotiation of pending claims or litigation which has been threatened in writing or filed against the body or agency or any subdivision thereof, or against any member thereof because of his membership in such body or agency, until the claim or litigation has been fully adjudicated or otherwise settled.

(f) Consideration of applications by the adult parole board under RSA 651-A.

III. [Minutes of Executive Sessions. ]Minutes of proceedings in [executive]nonpublic session shall be kept[, at least to the extent of recording any decisions made therein] and t[Moved from paragraph I: T]he record of all actions shall be promptly made available for public inspection[ promptly], except as provided in [paragraph II]this section. Minutes and d[D]ecisions reached in [executive]nonpublic session [must]shall be publicly disclosed within 72 hours of the meeting, unless, [in the opinion]by recorded vote of 2/3 of the members present, it is determined that divulgence of the information [would ]likely would affect adversely the reputation of any person other than a member of the body or agency itself or render the proposed action ineffective. In the event of such circumstances, information may be withheld until, in the opinion of a majority of members, the aforesaid circumstances no longer apply.