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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Some Laws We Wrote Go Into Effect Today

When Allied Law Group's Greg Overstreet was at the Attorney General's Office he worked on passing Attorney General Rob McKenna's open government legislation. Most bills passed in the 2007 legislative session go into effect 90 days after the close of the session, which is today (July 22, 2007). Two of those bills, both of which Greg wrote and lobbied for, are:
  • Senate Bill 5435 (creating a Sunshine Committee to review exemptions from disclosure in the Public Records Act and suggest revisions to the Legislature).
  • House Bill 1445 (adding statements of statutory construction directing courts to interpret the Public Records Act in favor of disclosure, providing that in the event of a conflict between the PRA and another act the PRA controls, and cleaning up some previous codification errors).

Two more open government laws Allied Law Group's Greg Overstreet worked on take effect today:

  • House Bill 1458 (also known as the "Ken and Barbara Miller Fairness Act") (requiring a government body to provide notice to a landowner of the public meeting at which the body will decide whether to condemn their property). Greg co-wrote the bill with the Governor's Office and lobbied for its passage.
  • House Bill 1897 (clarifying that government legal bills from attorneys they hire are subject to public disclosure for the most part). Greg lobbied for its passage.

Overall, a very good year for open government in the state of Washington.

We have some very tough battles ahead in the 2008 legislative session. Og-blog readers: Make a mental note to take a little time next year to do your part--contacting your legislators, etc.--to pass good laws and defeat bad ones. This stuff matters. A lot.