Public access could become much tougher, if bills pass in Legislature
Letters to the Editor
Two bills making their way through Washington Legislature aim to take away the public’s right to transparent government and review of public decision making. If your city, or the state ever made a decision you questioned, or if you joined a committee to have your city council members or state officials hear your side of a controversy, then write your senator and representative immediately and stop House Bills HB 1128 and HB 1185.
Laws on our books protect citizens’ rights to information, RCW 42.56.030 “The People, in delegating authority do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know.” Yet HB 1128 is titled “Limiting Public Records Requests.”
HB 1185 creates a cost environment wherein those that ask to see “records belonging to them as the public” will be charged fees up to the salary of government employee. The public is already paying the salaries to maintain and retrieve public records for the public, so this is asking citizens to pay twice in order to make it too expensive to ask to see the materials upon which decisions are made.