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Why every citizen should care about WA(state) lawmakers attack on the Public Records Act

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posted on Feb, 28 2018 @ 04:56 PM
Why every citizen should care about WA(State) lawmakers attack on the Public Records Act

The point is that accessing and reviewing public records is a part of our everyday life. But you’d be mistaken if you thought Washington(State) lawmakers’ overwhelming support of Senate Bill 6617 targeted journalists. Lawmakers are stripping you of your power as a citizen, too. The same public records tools we use to uncover fraud, government misconduct, and other sorts of questionable behavior are laws that are available to every Washington citizen.

Your elected leaders aren’t required to pick up the phone when you call. There’s no rule forcing them to meet with you at your request. They don’t have to answer your questions, or even give you the time of day. But, by law, they must provide you with certain public records under Washington’s Public Records Act.

This law is one way that any citizen can force their government to give them answers, and Washington’s state lawmakers have just voted to shut the public’s access to their records down.

Why every citizen should care about WA lawmakers attack on the Public Records Act


Gov. Jay Inslee must decide by Thursday whether to veto or let stand a bill exempting the state Legislature from Washington’s Public Records Act. Inslee has received hundreds of messages urging him to veto it.

So urce-S.Times

Related Source Info
Looking at both sides of the argument, for and against the bill:

Legislators say the bill is a step toward more transparency. Critics say it’s a big step backward and an assault on open government. Public outcry was swift and fierce. News organizations throughout the state have condemned the bill. The News Tribune’s editorial board called it a “snow job.” The Seattle Times called it “a slap in the face” to the public. The Spokane Spokesman-Review described the bill as “an appalling display of legislative hubris.”

Source: Q13Fox

Are legislators telling the truth about the controversial public records bill they just passed? Not so much Read more here:

"The Legislature should be leading on transparency, not giving the impression that it's hiding stuff," he said.

The Bill
See Here

Summing it Up

This bill, passed by bi-partisan legislature on Friday is one that will exempt state lawmakers from the Washington State's Public Records Act. Will also make some public records disposable. The legislature quickly fast-tracked sans public discussion or even floor debate. Contrasting to the the initial act was which was voter-approved.

As soon as it is signed, if so by the governor, it will go into effect. With that it will help protect lobbyist's impact on politicians for example. This is being described as shameful, I agree.

Why am I posting this? Any bills similar to this one need to be addressed. Vetoing the bill seems it will ensure from the bottom up to change and help thwart corruption, despite what state you live in, otherwise the nation will continue in decline.

posted on Feb, 28 2018 @ 05:00 PM
How much would never be known if people hadn't drug it out through FOIA requests?

posted on Feb, 28 2018 @ 05:03 PM
sounds more like something from north korea than america, disgraceful indeed

posted on Feb, 28 2018 @ 05:42 PM
a reply to: dreamingawake

Yup, that's how you can tell it's BS.

Anything our Govt. does, whether local, State or Federal. If it has bi-partisan support, you can rest assured that it's screwing over the people.

posted on Feb, 28 2018 @ 07:49 PM
a reply to: dreamingawake

If this is passed, it will never be repealed. It would be like trying to get lawmakers to not give themself a raise or to vote on term limits.

thanks for posting

posted on Feb, 28 2018 @ 08:04 PM
It could be a preemptive move to avoid implementing blockchain technology with government record keeping.

posted on Feb, 28 2018 @ 08:05 PM

NEW SECTION. Sec. 1. The legislature intends to clarify that the legislature, like the judiciary, is a branch of government rather than an "agency" of the state as that term is used in chapter 42.56 RCW, the public records act, and that the legislature is subject to separate disclosure requirements arising from its representative duties. Beginning in 1986, the supreme court of Washington has ruled that the public records act did not apply to the judicial branch, because the judiciary is a branch, not an agency, because there is a common law right of access to court records, and because the public records act did not specifically include courts or court files. The state supreme court has since adopted comprehensive rules to provide public access to case records and administrative records of the judicial branch. Similarly, the state Constitution requires the legislative houses to maintain journals, and to publish those journals, except such parts as require secrecy. During the essential legislative acts of floor deliberation and voting, the state Constitution requires the doors of the chambers to remain open, except where the public welfare requires secrecy. The presiding officers must sign legislation in open session. The state Constitution further requires the secretary of state to maintain records of official acts of the legislature. In addition, the state Constitution directs the legislative houses to adopt rules to govern their own proceedings. To protect the independence of legislative deliberations against interference by the other branches, the state Constitution provides that legislators are immune from civil process during the legislative session, and they are likewise immune from any civil or criminal liability for words spoken in debate. As John Adams explained in the Massachusetts state Constitution of 1780, "The freedom of deliberation, speech and debate, in either house of the legislature, is so essential to the rights of the people, that it cannot be the foundation of any accusation or prosecution, action or complaint, in any other court or place whatsoever." Correspondingly, the state Constitution also protects the right of the people to petition and communicate with their elected representatives. For these reasons, the legislature intends to establish records disclosure obligations that preserve the independent deliberation of the people's representatives while providing access to legislative public records. The legislative records disclosure obligations in this act establish continued public access to specified records of the legislature as originally codified in the public records act in 1995, as well as additional records as provided in this act

OK, that's the language. Any legal beagles who can decipher it?

posted on Feb, 28 2018 @ 09:27 PM
a reply to: dreamingawake

So what you are really trying to say is, that If I worked as a representative of the people I could have a secretary take all my messages while I locked myself in my office and got drunk and watched porn all day and then have a hired driver get me home safely and not have to answer to any silly questions about what I did all day?

Vote for me and I will do that less than the last guy and let 1 person talk to me through my private bathroom door while I may or may not be doing the exact same thing. And I promise you will like me more than the last guy because you will hear a lot of "oh yeas" while I listen, or hear, or drown you out, as a reply. Therefore I am a positive thinker and really value input of my minions, I mean members of society.

posted on Feb, 28 2018 @ 09:49 PM
a reply to: Blaine91555

I am no legal beagle but reading that language I come away with the impression they are making it more transparent? I will have to now read the articles saying otherwise. I could be way off but it sounds that way?

posted on Feb, 28 2018 @ 10:04 PM
Will this back dated?
hilery would love this!
I can not see trumpleting this go? !
Great for dictators and corrupt politicians.

posted on Feb, 28 2018 @ 10:11 PM
Confusing. It sounds like the legislative branch is currently not covered by the regular act at all. So the recent media case is being quoted as a precedent... So in fact they are introducing a bill that would subject the legislative branch to it's own set of rules separate from the regular disclosure act? So for sure if that is the case it should be looked at closely and not rushed through quietly! Still it sounds like they are not currently subject to any specific rule as they are a separate branch which isn't good either and would be the reason , perhaps, that this bill is being introduced. So each case doesn't require a trial over what can and cannot be released. I could be way off...
edit on 28 by tiredoflooking because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 1 2018 @ 04:10 AM
a reply to: dreamingawake

Comming from a liberal state like Washington,majority there are alchy's drug addicts,liberals live off handouts,never thinking of consequences,ignorance at best

posted on Mar, 2 2018 @ 01:11 AM
The governor just veyeoed the bill also largely at the advice of the citizens. Thanks for replies and questions, my opine is the concern put for about it seemed the most valid especially as it was meant to be pushed through before the press even caught wind of it.

posted on Mar, 2 2018 @ 02:14 PM
a reply to: tiredoflooking

Confusing isn't it. I see the governor vetoed it due to the backlash from the voters and media.

posted on Mar, 5 2018 @ 07:53 PM
a reply to: dreamingawake

Sorry, somehow vetoed came out ll butchered.

Also, to note that "lawmakers" are now regretting their fast tracking of the bill. It appears to have put the fear into them, hopefully that next time they will let the public have info, more.


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