Washington newspapers urge veto of records exemption bill

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Nine newspapers in Washington state have published front page editorials urging Gov. Jay Inslee to veto a bill passed last week by the Legislature designed to circumvent a recent court ruling that found state lawmakers were fully subject to the state’s public disclosure laws.

The A1 editorials appeared Tuesday in The Seattle Times, The Spokesman-Review, The News Tribune, The Olympian, The Bellingham Herald, The Daily Herald, The Columbian, the Yakima Herald-Republic and the Tri-City Herald.

Kate Riley, editorial page editor of The Seattle Times, wrote it was the first time in 110 years the newspaper had printed an editorial on its front page.

The newspapers implored Inslee to reject the bill, even though it passed with veto-proof majorities Friday, to send a message about government transparency. The measure would retroactively remove the legislative branch from the state’s voter-approved Public Records Act so lawmakers could shield records sought by a coalition of media groups, led by The Associated Press.