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Published on Friday, May 1, 2015

Public records issues still alive in the special session

Two weeks ago we reported on what public records bills made it to Governor Inslee’s desk. Read about those here. In addition to those bills, two other significant public records issues continue to be at play during this special session.

HB 1086, sponsored by Rep. Jim Moeller (D-Vancouver), establishes a cost recovery mechanism for public records sought for commercial purposes. The bill failed to make it out of the House but has been revived through HB 2156. HB 2156, sponsored by Rep. Chris Reykdal (D-Tumwater), is a bill that includes numerous local government provisions promoting fiscal sustainability. Included in this legislation is the language from HB 1086.

As well as HB 2156, the House proposed operating budget includes a proviso asking the State Auditor’s Office (SAO) to conduct a study on the cost of providing copies in response to public records requests. While we still have no agreed-upon budget, SAO is already moving forward with the study and is expected to issue its findings in a report to the Legislature in early 2016.

Categories: Open government