‘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.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Democrats in the Washington State House are proposing to pay for transportation improvements partly by raising the gas tax by 18 cents. (Andrea Brown / Herald file)
Gas tax increase part of Dems’ massive transportation package

An 18-cent gas tax hike and a fee on carbon emissions would raise $25.8 billion for new roads and more.

Photo by Emily Gilbert/Whidbey News-Times Carol Johnston has watched this Pacific madrone grow for the past 14 years. It is slated to be removed during McDonald’s upcoming renovation in early February.
Madrone tree to make way for bigger McDonald’s in Oak Harbor

Despite being named a Tree City USA, the city has no special protection in place for the native tree.

Navy seeks to conduct SEAL training in Whidbey, Camano parks

The deadline to register to participate in public comment is 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 22.

Light rail work to close northbound I-5 in Mountlake Terrace

The overnight closures will happen late Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Jill Johnson (left) and Greg Banks
State’s vaccine schedule draws criticism from Island County

Gov. Jay Inslee’s new plan for vaccinations didn’t include a change for disabled people.

Grant program reopens for businesses suffering amid pandemic

Local businesses that haven’t applied to Snohomish County’s “R3” program can do so until Feb. 2.

Short on doses, county’s drive-thru vaccinations are on pause

Appointments won’t be accepted again until new shipments arrive — next week at the soonest.

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112
Students, businesses to get a little help from lawmakers

Here’s what’s happening on Day 12 of the 2021 session of the Washington Legislature.

Most Read