By Ralph Schwartz
It’s late Friday, I know, but I just now read this editorial in the Seattle Times about a House bill that would give governments a way to reject what they consider to be overly burdensome or harassing public document requests.
As the Times editors note, while media would be exempt, this could put a crimp on attempts by citizen activists and part-time bloggers to uncover corruption or other improper dealings within government. Let’s be honest. Sometimes it’s the citizen activists — retirees, many of them — or the young, energetic part-time bloggers with no offspring who are making the significant requests for public documents.
The bill, HB 1128, made it through the House Committee on Local Government and appears to be headed to Rules (the Times editorial says it’s on the House floor).
One of our reps is a Local Government committee member; Vincent Buys, R-Lynden, did sign off on it.