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Monday, February 11, 2008

Tri-City Herald Editorial on Open Meetings Penalty and Taping Bill

This Tri-City Herald editorial neatly describes the interplay between the bill to increase the penalty for violating the Open Public Meetings Act and the bill to require the taping of executive sessions. Says the Herald:

"Right now, the fine for officials who knowingly violate the state's open meetings law is $100.
That's a small price for stomping on the people's sovereignty. Forgetting to renew your license tabs can cost you more.

"Not that there's much concern anyone will have to pay the $100. Without a record, it's difficult to prove an official broke the law. And when agency lawyers advise that a secret meeting is OK, it's almost impossible to prove anyone knowingly violated the act."