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

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. 

Next Meeting:

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

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, 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


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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