Inside Opinion

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Tag: Sunshine Committee


State’s Sunshine Committee needs governor’s attention

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

Gov. Chris Gregoire has a lot on her plate. There’s the looming budget hole to be addressed, and a Legislature shamefully inclined to let her deal with it by herself. Then there’s that possible Obama administration nomination for solicitor general that she’s apparently intent on fending off.

Still, she should take some time out of that busy schedule and make four appointments that are her responsibility: to the state’s Public Records Exemption Accountability Committee, better known as the Sunshine Committee.

That committee was created in 2007 to annually review exemptions to the Public Disclosure Act, which requires that records be made available to the public and media. When voters approved the act in 1972, there were only 10 exemptions.

That list has exploded to more than 350, and it’s the Sunshine Committee’s duty to study them and recommend whether to repeal, amend or retain them. Read more »


Sunshine Committee still waiting to be heard

This editorial will appear in Thursday’s print edition.

The Sunshine Committee could be on its way out. Perhaps lawmakers would consider a parting gift of finally heeding the committee’s advice?

The Sunshine Committee, aka the Public Records Exemptions Accountability Committee, was among the 95 boards and commissions Gov. Chris Gregoire targeted for elimination earlier this month.

This isn’t the committee’s first death threat, nor would it be the last should the committee survive the legislative session. Some lawmakers complain that the committee hasn’t done enough to justify its existence.

But the Sunshine Committee is only as worthless as the Legislature makes it.

Read more »


Lawmaker to press: You got yours, how about ours?

While I’m on my open-government rant (see previous post), I’ll also chime in about yesterday’s meeting of the state Sunshine Committee. The committee finally got around to taking up chairman Tom Carr’s proposal to abolish “legislative privilege” that allows state lawmakers to withhold e-mails, letters and memos written on public equipment and by public employees.

The committee agreed with Carr 8-1. The lone dissenter: Sen. Adam Kline.

A public official not wanting to give up secrecy is nothing new (although I would point out that state Rep. Lynn Kessler is in exactly the same position and voted for

Read more »