Issaquah lawmakers offer support for attorney general’s proposals

January 5, 2011

By Staff

NEW — 8 a.m. Jan. 4, 2011

Issaquah legislators offered bipartisan support Monday to state Attorney General Rob McKenna’s priorities to change public records and eminent domain laws.

Legislation aims to create a state Office of Public Records to rule on complaints related to the Public Records Act and the Open Public Meetings Act.

“It’s our hope that this pilot program will expand in the years to come, broadening access to government information,” McKenna said in a statement. “It will also prevent expensive lawsuits over the denial of records.”

The attorney general also proposed bills meant to save money by preventing lawsuits concerning open government matters — including a bill to require records requesters seeking court penalties to notify a government agency of the intent to file a lawsuit due to denied records.

The other bill, sponsored by state Rep. Deb Eddy, provides a one-year statute of limitations for suing due to denied records.

“As a former mayor and city councilmember, and as a state legislator, I recognize the importance of providing access to government information,” she said in the statement. “Clear open records laws provide access to records and the courts — and ultimately save taxpayer money.”

The three-term Kirkland Democrat represents the 48th Legislative District, including the South Cove and Greenwood Point neighborhoods in Issaquah.

In the state Senate, Maple Valley Republican Cheryl Pflug has sponsored a bill McKenna requested to prohibit the use of eminent domain for economic development. Pflug, a former representative, represents Issaquah and the 5th Legislative District.

Legislators gather at the Capitol on Jan. 10 for the 105-day session.

“People depend on us to solve problems,” McKenna said. “We’re proud to work with legislators from both sides of the aisle who are as determined as we are to make our streets safer, and to make state government leaner and more accountable.”

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