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Published on Tuesday, April 18, 2017
The Legislature passed HB 1594 and HB 1595 when the House voted to concur on the changes made by the Senate. The House concurrence vote for both bills was a strong bipartisan showing of 80-18. The bills now head to the Governor for his signature.
AWC would like to thank all of our cities who weighed in with your legislators about the challenges you face in upholding the public records act and the importance of the reasonable updates proposed in these two bills. We also want to express our appreciation to the Washington State Association of Counties for being such a strong partner in working on this issue.
And, of course, we want to send a huge thank you to our prime sponsors, Rep. Joan McBride (D-Kirkland) and Rep. Terry Nealey (R-Dayton). They spent countless hours over the past year working to get to this point. We also appreciate the efforts of many other legislators including Reps. Springer, Senn, Koster, and Hudgins and Senators Miloscia, Hunt, Schoesler, and Kuderer.
Passage of these two bills represents significant work with a large group of stakeholders spanning nearly 12 months. Cities are committed to open and transparent government and we have worked hard to have legislation that upholds that commitment while helping to address the challenges facing the public records act from ever-changing technology.
The following details explain what the bills do:
HB 1595 amends the PRA to allow cities to charge a small fee for providing copies of electronic records. A city may establish different fees by conducting its own cost-study, but the default charges in the bill are as follows:
The bill also:
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