OLYMPIA — Attorney General Bob Ferguson applauded yesterday’s bipartisan, 5-2 Senate Government Operations & Security Committee vote in favor of his bill to modernize the Open Public Meetings Act.
Ferguson’s agency-request legislation would increase the penalties for knowingly violating the Act’s requirements from $100 to $500, roughly in line with inflation since the law was enacted in 1971. The bill also adds an increased penalty of $1,000 for repeat knowing violations.
“This common-sense bill promotes the open and honest government Washingtonians demand and deserve,” Ferguson said. “I am gratified that committees in both legislative chambers have now approved this update.”
“Yesterday’s Senate tally demonstrates that this bill has earned support from both sides of the aisle,” Ferguson added. “I hope both chambers will pass this bill with broad bipartisan support.”
Committee Chair Pam Roach (R — Sumner) was joined by Vice Chairs Don Benton (R — Vancouver) and Kirk Pearson (R — Monroe) and Sens. Brian Dansel (R — Republic) and Cyrus Habib (D — Bellevue) in supporting the bill.
Sens. John McCoy (D — Tulalip) and Dean Takko (D — Longview) voted in opposition.
The legislation, Senate Bill 6171, is sponsored by Sen. Pam Roach, R-Sumner.
The Office of the Attorney General is the chief legal office for the state of Washington with attorneys and staff in 27 divisions across the state providing legal services to roughly 200 state agencies, boards and commissions. Attorney General Bob Ferguson is working hard to protect consumers and seniors against fraud, keep our communities safe, protect our environment and stand up for our veterans. Visit www.atg.wa.gov to learn more.
Peter Lavallee, Communications Director, (360) 586-0725; PeterL@atg.wa.gov
oach. A companion bill, House Bill 2353, is sponsored by Rep. Sam Hunt (D — Olympia).