Sunshine Committee ready for first batch of open-records reviews
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - The panel of experts and insiders charged with strengthening the state's open records laws is ready to delve into its first substantial bit of work this week.
At a meeting Tuesday in Ellensburg, Washington's Sunshine Committee will begin scrutinizing some of the nearly 300 exemptions from the state law that calls for the free flow of government information.
They're not expected to get too deep into that list before suggesting an opening round of changes next month.
Voters approved the Public Records Act by initiative in 1972, when there were only 10 tightly drawn exceptions to the general policy that all government records should be readily available to the public.
In the years since, lawmakers have liberally plumped the list of government documents that taxpayers aren't allowed to see.
The Sunshine Committee is in charge of combing through that list of exemptions and recommending whether they should stay, go, or be tweaked.