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
Due to health and safety concerns related to the Covid-19 pandemic, the May 12, 2020 meeting is canceled. The next regularly scheduled meeting is August 18, 2020.
What: Sunshine (Public Records Exemptions Accountability) Committee Meeting
When: August 18, 2020
Time: 9 am - 1 pm
Where: John A. Cherberg Building, Conference Room ABC, Olympia, WA
Materials: Agenda Forthcoming
Sunshine Committee's 2020 meeting schedule
- 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
- Sara Di Vittorio, Snohomish County PUD
- 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.