Washington Supreme Court to decide legislative records case

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The state Supreme Court will decide whether Washington state’s voter-approved Public Records Act applies to state lawmakers.

On Tuesday, Supreme Court Commissioner Michael Johnston signed a ruling granting direct review of a superior court judge’s January ruling that found state lawmakers are subject to the same public disclosure rules that apply to other elected officials and state agencies.

A media coalition led by The Associated Press sued last year, arguing that lawmakers had illegally been withholding documents like daily calendars, emails, and reports of sexual harassment. Earlier this year, lawmakers moved quickly to pass a bill that would have exempted them from the law while allowing for more limited disclosure of some records. Following a public backlash, Gov. Jay Inslee vetoed the measure after legislators agreed to not take another vote to override his action.

A hearing date before the high court has not yet been set.