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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 07, 2007
Attorney General McKenna announces meeting of “Sunshine Committee”

OLYMPIA…Attorney General Rob McKenna announced today that the Public Records Exemptions Accountability Committee or “Sunshine Committee” will hold their first meeting on Tuesday, August 28. The meeting will be in the House Legislative Building in Hearing Room C from 9am to Noon. 

When the voters approved the Public Disclosure Act by initiative in 1972, it included only 10 exemptions from disclosure.  Now, there are at least 300 exemptions, including the 1996 exemption for ginseng records that were tucked into a bill with the title, “An act relating to the department of agriculture grants of rule-making authority.”

“Access to open government is a top priority of my office,” Attorney General McKenna said. “The creation of the Sunshine Committee is the first step in cleaning up the exemptions that have come into existence over the years.  The passage of State Bill 5435 is a victory for the citizens of Washington.”

During the last legislative session, Attorney General requested a bill to establish a Blue-Ribbon Committee to annually review all exemptions, including newly-passed ones and to recommend repeal or amendment of exemptions to the Public Records Act.  State Bill 5435 became law on July 22, 2007. 

Members of the Sunshine Committee (as of August 7, 2007):

Thomas Carr, Seattle city attorney (Chair)
Tim Ford, Assistant Attorney General
John Hughes, Editor & Publisher of The Daily World
Ken Bunting, Associate Publisher of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Senator Adam Kline
Senator Pam Roach
Representative Lynn Kessler
Representative Jay Rodne
Frank W. Garred, retired newspaper publisher
Candy Jackson, N.A.T.I.V.E Project
Roselyn Marcus, Office of Financial Management
Ramsey Ramerman, Foster Pepper PLLC
Patience Rogge, Friends of Fort Worden

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Media Contact: J. Ryan Shannon, Media Relations Manager, (360) 753-2727

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