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.


Staff contact: Elaine Ganga

Next Meeting:

What: Sunshine (Public Records Exemptions Accountability) Committee Meeting
When: February 25, 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

Previous Meeting Materials

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, Michael E. Schwab, retired Yakima County Superior Court Judge
Former State Representative Lynn Kessler - Vice Chair
Representative Luanne Van Werven (R)
Representative Larry Springer (D)
Taylor "Tip" Wonhoff - Counsel to the Governor
Rowland Thompson, Executive Director, Allied Daily Newspapers of Washington
David Zeeck, Former Publisher, Tacoma News Tribune
Hon. Pete Holmes, Seattle City Attorney
Jennifer Steele, Assistant Attorney General 
Kathy George, Attorney, Johnston George LLP
Sara Di Vittorio, Snohomish County PUD


Additional information:

Criteria for Review

Sunshine Committee bylaws


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

Enacted Legislation:

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:

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.