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: November 17, 2021

Time: 10:00 a.m.
Where: Via Go2Webinar - see below for details 
Materials: Agenda

Important Meeting Information:

  • Due to health and safety concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the November 17, 2021 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 November 17, 2021 meeting, click on the link to register: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6435845496750357008                 
  •  (works best in Google Chrome or Firefox browsers)
  • You can register for the meeting prior to November 17, 2021.
  • To join by phone to listen only: Dial 1-415-655-0052; When prompted enter Access Code 150-920-021
  • 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 November 17, 2021 meeting, there is no public access to the Cherberg Building Conference Rooms 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

Sunshine Committee's 2022 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

  • Linda Krese, Chair, Former Snohomish County Superior Court Judge
  • Lynn Kessler, Vice Chair, Former State Representative
  • Kathy George, Attorney, Johnston George LLP
  • Representative Jenny Graham (R)
  • Hon. Pete Holmes, Seattle City Attorney
  • Senator Sam Hunt (D)
  • Representative Larry Springer (D)
  • Jennifer Steele, Assistant Attorney General 
  • Jaime Stephens, San Juan County Councilmember
  • Rowland Thompson, Executive Director, Allied Daily Newspapers of Washington
  • Senator Jeff Wilson (R)
  • 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:

2021: None
2020: None
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:

2021: SB 5098
2020: SHB 2484
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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