Voters 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.
Staff contact: Elaine Ganga
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)
Sunshine Committee's 2020 meeting schedule
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.
- 2012 Public Disclosure Statutes
- 2013 Public Disclosure Statutes
- 2014 Public Disclosure Statutes
- 2015 Public Disclosure Statutes
- 2016 Public Disclosure Statutes
- 2017 Public Disclosure Statutes
- 2018 Public Disclosure Statutes
- 2019 Public Disclosure Statutes
Sunshine Committee Reports to the Legislature:
- 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
Legislation on Sunshine Committee Bills & Bills Concerning Exemptions Addressed in Sunshine Committee Recommendations
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
Add yourself to the Sunshine Committee mailing list for the latest news from the committee. Just make sure to select "Sunshine Committee" on the subscriptions page. You can also sign up to receive additional information from the Attorney General's Office such as News Releases and other AGO newsletters.