Public and media calls for Washington Gov. Jay Inslee to veto legislation that exempts state lawmakers from the Public Records Act is ramping up less than a week after the Legislature quietly and quickly passed the measure, Senate Bill 6617.
As noted in a Yakima Herald editorial, the bill “bypassed the usual deliberative process and sped through the Senate and House in two days. Legislators conducted no committee hearings and instituted an emergency clause, which means it could not be subject to a public referendum.”
“The bill removes the option of challenging a records request denial in court, leaving that decision to one of two legislative committees,” the newspaper added.
Several newspapers have published editorials calling on Inslee to use his veto pen, including the Seattle Times, which ran its editorial on the front page.
Liberty Park Press first reported about this legislation last Saturday.
Government transparency is a serious issue. It was at the heart of a lawsuit filed against the City of Seattle by this journalist, in my capacity as senior editor of TheGunMag.com, a monthly firearms news magazine owned by the Second Amendment Foundation with headquarters in Bellevue, Washington and Buffalo, N.Y.
That successful lawsuit forced the city to reveal revenue totals from the controversial “gun violence tax” that brought in far less than proponents on the Seattle City Council originally estimated. The city didn’t want to release the embarrassing figure. The public had a right to know.
That was clearly a First Amendment issue. So is this.
As noted by other publications, opponents cross the political spectrum. They include the Washington Policy Center, the Freedom Foundation, Toby Nixon who serves as president of the Washington Coalition for Open Government and former Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna.
Add Liberty Park Press and TheGunMag.com to that list.
To contact Gov. Inslee, call (360) 902-4111, fax (360) 753-4110 or log on here.