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Statements from legislative caucus leaders on Legislative Public Records Act

Leaders from all four caucuses in the Legislature released the following comments following the announcement of SB 6617, a bill to exempt the Legislature from the Public Records Act. 

Senate Majority Leader Sharon Nelson, D-Maury Island

“We have listened to the concerns of the media and open government advocates and believe this bipartisan, middle ground approach strikes a good balance between privacy, transparency and the legislature’s ability to do its job.

“If aspects of this plan do not work in practice, however, I am open to looking at additional ways we can ensure the legislature operates in a way that is more transparent.”

Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville

“The people of this state have a right to know what their government is doing on their behalf, and I believe strongly in open government and transparency. It is just as important that their Legislature be able to effectively work on their behalf. This bill is a balanced solution that allows the public to know what is going on inside their government in a way that is both workable and protects the privacy of our constituents.”

House Majority Leader Rep. Pat Sullivan, D-Covington

“The Legislature takes seriously its commitment to government transparency. Lawmakers and staff have been working diligently on coming up with a workable solution. The proposal strikes a good balance between increasing legislative transparency while also protecting constituent privacy and practices that allow the Legislature to do its work for the people of Washington.” 

House Republican Caucus Chair Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley

“We are committed to transparency and open government. The Legislative Public Records Act expands the amount of records available to the public, while preserving the privacy of constituents and whistleblowers. It strikes the appropriate balance. I look forward to the bill’s passage and implementation.”

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