Washington transparency headlines
This article is a list of transparency related news from Washington.
WA Supreme Court rules court records only exempt when held by the courts 2011-01-20 10:23:25
Yakima, WA' On Thursday, January 13, 2011 the Washington Supreme Court issued its ruling in the case of Yakima County v. Yakima Herald-Republic, establishing that court records held by governmental agencies do not fall under the same exemption as records held by Washington state courts. The case centered around over 2 million dollars in funds allocated for attorneys fees for the public defender of a murder trial in 2005. The Herald-Republic argued that the public had a right to the information, while Yakima County maintained that the documents were exempt as court records. The court sided with the Herald-Republic in its 9-0 decision.
Bellingham sues over public records about deadly train crossing at Boulevard Park 2010-12-17 13:49:49
"City officials are asking a judge to review a public records request made by an attorney representing the family of a woman killed by an Amtrak train in 2008.
City Council members, with no discussion, unanimously approved city attorneys seeking the judicial review after a closed-door executive session last week.
Attorney Steve Chance filed the request on behalf of the family of 49-year-old Maia Haykin, who was struck by a train while crossing the train tracks at Boulevard Park on her bicycle May 20, 2008."
Washington State Supreme Court blocks AG's release of corporate financial information 2010-11-09 11:45:20
Olympia, WA Last week, the Washington Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Attorney General Rob McKenna could not release financial information relating to the investigation of Ameriquest Mortgage Co. because federal law only allowed the Attorney General to "disclose and use" the documents and information in the course of normal duties relating to an investigation. The case is being praised as an clarification of disclosure requirements when restrictions are placed on them by federal law.
Washington State Supreme Court rules that metadata is a public record 2010-10-12 08:29:14
Olympia, WA On October 7, the Washington State Supreme Court issued its ruling in the case of O'Neil v. City of Shoreline with a 5-4 decision ordering that computer generated metadata is in fact a public record. The case, following on the heals of a similar Arizona case (Arizona Supreme Court Rules Electronic Information Subject to Records Requests) is the second of its kind to address the status of information like time stamps, file edit dates and even the two and from components of emails that the media and transparency advocates argue are key for understanding electronic public records.
State lawmakers urge against pricey ballot measures 2010-08-25 12:43:08
Oregon lawmakers have taken steps in pushing back the policies by suspending for two years sections of a voted-in law mandating longer sentences for repeat property offenders and drug dealers. The lawmakers passed a new set of restrictions keeping costly initiative measures at bay.
Washington lawmakers passed a law to save almost $1 billion by essentially ignoring some state education initiatives. One of these called for annual teacher raises.
Washington Democrats suspended a initiative that makes requirements for training for home-care aides who serve the elderly and disabled.
"One of the biggest concerns that lawmakers have is the financial straitjacket that initiatives can put on legislatures through big spending proposals or through spending and revenue caps," said Jennie Drage Bowser of the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Washington Task Force Suggests New Records Office 2010-08-25 12:12:26
Olympia, WA On Tuesday November 2, the Washington state open records task force announced that it would endorse a new Office of Open Records, which when created by the legislature, would handle open records disputes and reduce the need for pursuing remedies through the judiciary. The Office would be modeled after open records offices in other states, including Pennsylvania and Connecticut. While their function was merely advisory, the committee hopes that the four legislators on the committee will endorse and sponsor a bill to create the office sometime in the near future.
Bigger fine for King Co.'s withholding of records 2010-08-25 11:53:56
The state Supreme Court on Thursday said a fine of nearly $124,000 wasn't enough, given the county's negligence. It told a lower court to calculate a bigger penalty."
Washington Supreme Court to agencies: Comply with open records act or pay more 2010-08-25 11:53:52
"The good news for open-government advocates is that a majority of the Washington Supreme Court ruled when public agencies violate the right of the public to documents they are entitled to, the penalties should be large enough to deter future transgressions.
Yet, the court's historic ambivalence toward open-government issues was apparent again in Thursday's ruling in the case that stretches back to a request for King County documents relating to the 1997 ballot measure that led to Qwest Field.
No fewer than five different opinions — a majority, two concurrences, a concurrence-in-part and a dissent — were filed in Yousoufian v. Office of Ron Sims, on its third trip to the Supreme Court."
Big fine for county withholding of records on Seahawks stadium 2010-08-25 11:53:34
"The state Supreme Court on Thursday gave new force to Washington's Public Records Act, ruling that a fine of nearly $124,000 -- the largest ever assessed under the law -- wasn't enough for King County's inexcusable delays in responding to a disclosure request made in 1997.
It's the second time the court has ordered that a bigger penalty be paid to Armen Yousoufian, who asked for documents pertaining to the then-upcoming referendum on the public financing of Qwest Field.
"This is a very strong ruling," Yousoufian said Thursday. "People won't have to go through 12 years of litigation to get a ruling that this kind of foot-dragging and misrepresentation requires fines high enough that lawyers will take their case.""
Paralyzed bicyclist files suit against state over crash on Seattle’s Montlake Bridge 2010-08-25 11:52:46
"A man who suffered life-altering injuries in a 2007 bicycle crash on Seattle’s Montlake Bridge is suing the state in Thurston County Superior Court, alleging that state agencies have refused to release public records he has requested about other bicycle crashes on the bridge.
Michael Gendler, who was left a quadriplegic after the Oct. 28, 2007, crash on Montlake Bridge, wants the information about other bicycle crashes on the bridge for a potential lawsuit against the state, one of his attorneys, Charles Wiggins, said Wednesday." Template:2.default
- ↑ Bloomberg, "Yakima newspaper wins Supreme Court records case" 1/14/2010
- ↑ The News Tribune, "Ruling addresses records act, privacy", 11/6/2010
- ↑ Seattle Post-Intelligncer, "Wash. high court: E-mail metadata is public record", 10/7/2010
- ↑ Cite error: Invalid
<ref>tag; no text was provided for refs named
- ↑ The News Tribune, "New state agency suggested to handle records disputes"
State of Washington
Public Records Act | Transparency Checklist | Government corruption reports | Transparency Legislation | Open Records procedures | Transparency Advocates | Transparency blogs | State budget | Taxpayer-funded lobbying associations |
List of Counties |
List of Cities |
List of Towns |
List of School Districts |
Ballot measures | Ballot measures listed by year | List of local ballot measures | Procedures for qualifying an initiative | Laws governing the initiative process | Signature requirements | Recall law | Ballow access law litigation | History of direct democracy | Campaign finance requirements |