The 2016 legislative session, as with all sessions in recent years, saw much action in the area of open government. A bill that would have given agencies more latitude in limiting public records requests was defeated, and a interim procedure for releasing police “body cams” videos was approved, with the promise of revisiting it. Here’s an overview of the bills proposed, those passed, and those we’re likely to see again.
WCOG is now accepting submissions for the Second Annual Kenneth F. Bunting Award in journalism. Named for the late Seattle Post-Intelligencer associate publisher and a founding board member of WCOG, the award honors exceptional journalism that supports and demonstrates the importance of open government and transparency.
WCOG recognized the open government efforts of State Sen. Reuven Carlyle for his ongoing work on tax transparency. Toby Nixon, WCOG president, described the Ballard/Thompson Award as “our legislator of the year award,” given to “the legislator who demonstrated outstanding dedication to the cause of open government during the preceding legislative session,” but noted that Sen. Carlyle’s work spans several sessions as a state representative before he became a senator.
Former Administrative Law Judge Patricia Peterson was recognized with a Key Award for her decision to blow the whistle on questionable ethics practices in the Office of the Insurance Commissioner. The Key Award recognizes a single good act that promotes open government.