Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

 Sunshine-Committee-Logo.jpgVoters approved the Public Disclosure Act by initiative in 1972. At the time, the Act included only 10 exemptions from disclosure. As of 2016, there are over 500 exemptions in the Revised Code of Washington.

The Attorney General’s Office requested a bill to establish a Blue-Ribbon Committee to review all exemptions to the Public Disclosure Act. Senate Bill 5435, which created the Public Records Exemptions Accountability Committee (Sunshine Committee), became law on July 22, 2007. The Sunshine Committee makes recommendations to the Legislature to repeal or amend exemptions to the Public Records Act.

 


Public testimony regarding exemptions the Sunshine Committee is currently considering is welcome. If you are unable to give your testimony in person, you may do so online or by mail using the contact form linked below.

To ensure inclusion in the written information provided to the Committee, online and mailed comments must be received two business days prior to the next scheduled meeting.

CONTACT THE SUNSHINE COMMITTEE

Staff contact: Elaine Ganga


Next Meeting:

What: Sunshine (Public Records Exemptions Accountability) Committee Meeting
When: September 21, 2020
Time: 9:30 am - 1:30 pm
Where: Via GoToWebinar (GoToWebinar works best in Google Chrome, or Firefox browsers)
Materials: Agenda

Sunshine Committee's 2020 meeting schedule

Previous Meeting Materials

September 21, 2020 Meeting Notice

 

Important Meeting Information:

  • Due to health and safety concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the September 21, 2020 meeting will be held remotely.
  • The Sunshine Committee will not be able to monitor and receive public comment through the GoToWebinar chat feature.  Please click here to learn how to submit public comments to the Sunshine Committee. 
  • GoToWebinar Meeting Information: To access the September 21, 2020 meeting, click on the link to register: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5403089608367130382 (works best in Google Chrome, or Firefox browsers)
  • You can register for the meeting prior to September 21, 2020.
  • To join by phone to listen only: Dial 1-562-247-8422; When prompted enter Access Code 337-559-770
  • The Sunshine Committee strives to make its meetings accessible to all.  For questions about a reasonable accommodation in Washington State Legislative buildings, please go to their website here.  (Note, for the September 21, 2020 meeting, there is no public access to the Cherberg Building due to the COVID-19 pandemic.)  Contact the Washington Relay Service at 7-1-1 or 1-800-833-6388 for telephone relay service. For any other requests, please email SunshineCommittee@atg.wa.gov
  • For technical difficulties or questions, please contact Elaine Ganga by email at Elaine.Ganga@atg.wa.gov or by phone at (360) 280-5370. 

 

 


The Code Reviser's Office annually provides the Committee with a list of public disclosure exemptions contained in the Revised Code of Washington. 

Schedule of Review


Sunshine Committee Reports to the Legislature: 


Committee Members

  • Chair, Vacant
  • Vice Chair, Former State Representative Lynn Kessler
  • Representative Luanne Van Werven (R)
  • Representative Larry Springer (D)
  • Senator Sam Hunt (D)
  • Hon. Pete Holmes, Seattle City Attorney
  • Kathy George, Attorney, Johnston George LLP
  • Jennifer Steele, Assistant Attorney General 
  • Rowland Thompson, Executive Director, Allied Daily Newspapers of Washington
  • Taylor "Tip" Wonhoff - Counsel to the Governor
  • David Zeeck, Former Publisher, Tacoma News Tribune

 


 
Additional information:

Criteria for Review

Sunshine Committee bylaws

 

Legislation on Sunshine Committee Bills & Bills Concerning Exemptions Addressed in Sunshine Committee Recommendations

Enacted Legislation:

2019:  HB 1537     HB 1505   HB 1091
2018:  [none]
2017:   SHB 1388
2016:  HB 2663SB 6170
2015:  HB 2663, HB 1431, SHB 1980; HB 1554
2014: SB 6007
2012: HB 2456, HB 1234
2009: SSB 5295

Proposed Legislation:

2019:   HB 1537   SHB 1538   SB 5246
2018:  HB 1160, SHB 1160, SB 5418, SSB 5418
2017 (see substitute bills:  SHB 1160    SSB 5418  )
2017:  HB 1160/SB 5418
2015: HB 2663; HB 1980/SB 6020; SB 5395
2014: HB 2764; HB 2114
2013: HB 1297/SB 5170, SHB 1298/SSB 5169, HB 1299/SB 5171
2011-2012: SB 5049
2010:   SB 6223
2009: SB 5294; SB 5295

 


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