Washington State House Democrats


Legislative Update: Public Records Bill Veto

Dear neighbors,

A week ago, the House and Senate passed a bill that would have made, for the first time in decades, many legislative communications available to the public and to the press.

I felt the policy in the bill was a good first step toward more government transparency, which is why I voted in favor. The way I saw it, more transparency was better than none at all.

But skipping the process to rush it through both chambers left a lot to be desired and made me, and many of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle who also gave it a yes vote, very uncomfortable.

The responses many of us got from our constituents made us realize that passing that bill without it going through the regular legislative process was a mistake.

You were right to be outraged because citizens should be able to weigh in on every piece of legislation we consider at the state Capitol.

We had to fix this, so I, along with other House Democrats who also voted in favor, sent a letter to the governor asking him to veto the measure, and he did.

Gov. Inslee will convene a task force with representatives from his office, the Attorney General’s office, the news media, open government advocates, lawmakers, and others, to engage in a very public process and bring back recommendations to the Legislature next year.

I thank all of you who cared enough to come forward and demand accountability from your legislators.

We are a Citizen Legislature. Sometimes we make mistakes but it is never too late to do the right thing.


Ortiz-Self Sig