LSC Meeting March 16, 2017

Rep. Joan McBride talking to the LSC committee on March 16, 2017 about the Public Records Act.

The Senate State Government Committee had a Hearing on Public Records Bills

Both public records bills had a hearing in the Senate State Government Committee on Wednesday. Generally, the testimony was positive, with the Coalition signing-in pro for HB 1594 and other for HB 1595. The Allied Daily Newspapers testified “other” on both bills. The Chair of the Committee emphasized his desire for the bills to include specific metrics regarding fulfillment of public records, so stakeholders are working with him on possible language.

As a reminder of their provisions, a summary of the current provisions of both bills is provided below:

  • The current version of HB 1594 includes a study of establishing a statewide internet portal for public records management and provides $25,000 for the study. The current version also authorizes a $1 surcharge on county recorded documents to fund the State Archives local competitive grant program and local training on records retention. The funding will sunset in three years.
  • HB 1595 authorizes a fee for electronic records of 10 cents/gigabyte. This fee is optional. Local governments may also choose to use a flat fee, authorizes a customized service charge for exceptionally complicated requests and provides that a request for all or substantially all agency records is not a valid “identifiable records request” under the Public Records Act.

Watch the full public hearing on HB 1595/HB 1594 on here:

Jennifer has over 20 years of legislative and government relations experience. She served as staff counsel to the Senate and House Transportation Committees, the Government Relations Director for the Washington State Department of Transportation, and Governor Christine Gregoire’s Legislative Director and Transportation Policy Advisor. She is the owner of Jennifer Ziegler Public Affairs, representing both public and private sector clients.

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