The Executive Council returned to in-person meetings this year. (New Hampshire Bulletin)
New Hampshire residents interested in hearing Executive Council meetings may now do so remotely, after the council voted Wednesday to provide live audio broadcasts “when feasible.”
In an amendment to the council’s Manual of Procedures, councilors voted to allow the live audio “by telephone, the internet or other means which allows the public to listen to proceedings as they occur.” Audio will not be provided during nonpublic meetings.
The update to the procedure comes two years after the council made its proceedings virtual at the outbreak of the pandemic, holding votes over telephone and providing the public with a call-in number to listen in. The number allowed a maximum of 500 people to listen in, and the audio was not always clear. After a year of meeting remotely, the council returned to in-person meetings in 2022, and the live audio option was removed.
The council has provided audio recordings of its meetings to the public since 2010, when councilors amended the Manual of Procedures to require them. Those recordings are made available online in the days after the meeting. The vote Wednesday adds live audio to that 2010 requirement.
The policy change follows similar shifts in the state House and Senate, both of which now broadcast their committee hearings live on YouTube. Lawmakers had debated requiring meeting recordings for years; the change came after federal COVID relief money allowed House and Senate leaders to purchase the necessary equipment.
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