WENATCHEE, Wa- State House Representatives Cary Condotta and Mike Steele are defending their votes in favor of a bill that exempts legislators from parts of the State’s public records act.
The House and Senate overwhelmingly approved the measure last Friday without debate or public hearing. It was drafted in response to an appeal of recent court ruling in Whatcom County that required the release of lawmakers private emails. Condotta and Steele refute media reports alleging that the Legislature’s action reduces transparency. Here were their comments on NCWLIFE’s 12th District Program. . .
SB 6617 will make some legislative records public, such as lawmakers’ calendars and their email exchanges with registered lobbyists. But their private cell phone and emails are off limits. It also prevents people from challenging this records law in court.
Several Washington State newspapers, including the Wenatchee World, have published Op Eds today calling on the Governor to veto the bill. The measure passed both the Senate and House with super majority approval which would likely result in a veto over-ride. 12th District Senator Brad Hawkins also voted in favor the bill when it came up for a vote in the Upper Chamber.
Click on this link for the text of SB 6617