Friday, February 17, 2012

Roach Open Government Bill Moves Forward

The Auburn Reporter posted the following:

Roach bill to require web postings of public meeting materials passes Senate

February 16, 2012 · 5:01 PM

Pam Roach, R-Auburn, won full Senate support this week for her bill to require web postings of public meeting materials.

Senate Bill 5553 requires the governing bodies of counties, cities, towns, and special purpose districts that maintain a website to post regular meeting agendas at least 72 hours before the meeting. Special meeting agendas must be posted at least 24 hours before the meeting.

Along with the agendas, the text of any ordinance, rule or regulation to be considered at the meeting must also be posted. Meeting minutes must be posted within 15 business days after adoption.

Postings must remain on the website for one calendar year.

"People need to know what actions are going to be taken in time to prepare to testify and ask questions," Roach said. "My bill is about transparency and the people's right to know what their elected officials are doing- before they do it."

The bill provides exemptions for:

• Counties with populations under 30,000 and the special purpose districts and school districts within those counties.

• Special purpose districts providing services to less than 1,000 residents.

• Cities or towns with a population of less than 8,000.

• Port districts with three or fewer staff members.

Roach is a member of the "Sunshine Committee," a blue ribbon committee dedicated to government accountability and transparency, and tasked with making recommendations to repeal or amend exemptions to the Public Records Act.

2SSB 5553 is now before the House of Representatives for consideration

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