OLYMPIA - Attorney General Rob McKenna said today he was pleased Senate Bill 5735, the Public Disclosure Act legislation he requested, was approved by the Senate Government Operations and Elections Committee, despite his concern about an amendment added by the committee.
McKenna said he was not supportive, however, of new language that would expand too broadly the attorney-client privilege exemption included in the bill.
"We proposed very strict guidelines on the attorney-client privilege exemption," explained McKenna. "I'm hopeful that we can move back towards that more limited definition as the bill continues through the process."
"I am very encouraged to see this bill move out of committee," said McKenna. "This legislation is important to ensure open and accountable government by making public records available to Washington citizens."
Senate Bill 5735 would strengthen the Public Disclosure Act to help the public keep tabs on the agencies that work for them. The legislation would prohibit a state or local agency from rejecting "overbroad" requests and increase the penalty for agencies not complying with the law.
In addition, the bill is balanced to address problems state and local governments face when responding to overly unreasonable requests; and exempts attorney-client legal advice from disclosure.
For more information on Senate Bill 5735 or its House companion, House Bill 1758, go to the Attorney General's web site at http://www.atg.wa.gov/billcomparison.shtml.
For more information contact:
Media Relations Director, (360) 586-0725