In 1976, Part 1, Article 8 of New Hampshire’s Constitution was amended to better ensure the public’s access to public records and meetings. The following two sentences were added:
Government, therefore, should be open, accessible, accountable and responsive. To that end, the public’s right of access to governmental proceedings and records shall not be unreasonably restricted.
Today, the preamble to New Hampshire’s Access to Public Records and Meetings Law reads, “Openness in the conduct of public business is essential to a democratic society.”
The state’s right to know law outlines what records must be made available to the public, and what types of meetings must be open. The law also dictates how a public agency should provide notice of meetings, and the penalties for those agencies who do not follow the letter of the law.