My statement on transparency and Senate Bill 6617

Transparency and Senate Bill 6617

Thank you to those who reached out to engage with me on the issue of public records. Overwhelmingly, people expressed concern about the lack of transparency and how the legislature handled that bill.

I heard you.

I understand the frustration with the process for Senate Bill 6617, which did not allow for appropriate public input, something I value. Clearly, the process by which it moved through the legislature was unacceptable, and I apologize.

Although it would have opened up an unprecedented amount of records to public disclosure, passing legislation that makes such significant changes without public input strikes against my beliefs in transparency and open government.

That is why last night, along with many of my colleagues, I asked Governor Inslee to veto Senate Bill 6617, and he did so.

Now we can start the process over, allowing for public input and the appropriate deliberation around such an important issue. Legislators plan to convene a task force with open-government advocates, representatives of the news media, the governor and the attorney general to provide recommendations for a new bill for 2019. I look forward to the collaborative process, and hope to see all parties come together to improve transparency while protecting constituent privacy.

However, no matter the results from the task force or the legal case, I am committed to transparent and open government.

You spoke. I listened. Government works better when citizens are an active part of the legislative process.

Thank you again for voicing your opinions and engaging with me on this issue.


Rep. Tana Senn