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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 25, 2005
McKenna Wins support for AG priorities in 2005 session


OLYMPIA – Attorney General Rob McKenna today called the Legislature’s support of his requests to strengthen the Public Disclosure Act, curb methamphetamine production and improve consumer protection “three big wins for the citizens of Washington.”

The Public Disclosure Act bill passed into law last week was McKenna’s first proposal to the Legislature. The new law makes it easier for citizens to obtain public records by requiring state and local agencies to improve access to records, and increasing penalties for agencies that do not comply with the law.

“This legislation strengthens our state’s ‘sunshine laws’ enacted by voter-approved initiative more than 30 years ago,” McKenna said, “and re-emphasizes the ‘culture of compliance’ that citizens should expect from their government.”

At McKenna’s urging, the Legislature also passed House Bill 2266, a bill aimed at curbing methamphetamine production. The new law, if signed by the governor, will require retailers to keep the vast majority of products containing pseudoephedrine behind the counter. It will also require, as a statewide pilot project, customers to show identification and sign a purchase log.

“I’ve heard from law enforcement in Washington and across the country that putting these products behind the counter is the single most important step we can take to prevent the manufacturing of methamphetamine,” explained McKenna, who stepped in late last week, when the bill’s approval looked unlikely, to encourage lawmakers to reconsider. “I believe this is the most significant law enforcement legislation passed this session.”

The Legislature also funded a $1.6 million increase in the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division, which McKenna requested to fight high-tech crimes such as internet fraud, identity theft, and online child pornography. This represents the largest new investment in consumer protection funding since the division was created thirty years ago and is possible due to cuts McKenna is making to office administration and overhead costs.

“I’m pleased that we’ve made such significant progress on the top three priorities I’ve outlined so far as Attorney General, and very much appreciate the support of the Legislature this session,” said McKenna.


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