‘Burden’ public-records bill appears to be dead

When stories are killed in the news business, they are described as having been “spiked.”

A similar fate awaits legislation that is placed in the “X files” for the rules committees in both chambers of the Washington Legislature. It is one place bills go to die.

That’s what apparently happened Feb. 22 to SB 6351, legislation that would have allowed government agencies to haul people into court as part of a new track for resisting otherwise legal requests for information under the state Public Records Act.

Spurred by tales of people using records requests to harass government officials, lawmakers were considering making it legal for bureaucrats to ask a judge to block release of records if complying with the law would pose a “significant burden.”

We wrote

Our Olympia reporter, Jerry Cornfield, says it’s always possible that this idea could rise from the dead, but he’s betting that is unlikely this session.

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