Legislative records fight before Washington Supreme Court


OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) – A push by media groups to gain access to the records of Washington lawmakers is before the state’s highest court.

The Washington Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments Tuesday in a case that will determine whether state lawmakers are subject to the same disclosure rules that apply to other elected officials under the voter-approved Public Records Act.

The hearing is the culmination of a case that was sparked by a September 2017 lawsuit filed by a media coalition, led by The Associated Press, which said lawmakers were violating the law by not releasing emails, daily schedules and reports of sexual harassment.

A Thurston County superior court judge ruled in January 2018 that while the Washington Legislature, the House and Senate were not subject to the Public Records Act, the statute was clear that the offices of individual lawmakers were covered by the law.