• John Ley

Ann Rivers Votes AGAINST Transparency

As a public servant and elected leader, everything a member of the legislature does on behalf of the people should be open and transparent. Yet the incumbent believed she needed to be exempt from the rules all other government bodies and agencies are subject to.

With lightning speed back in 2018, only 48 hours after the secrecy bill was introduced, it was passed by a vote of 41-7 in the Senate and 83-14 in the House. Incumbent Senator Rivers believed she needed to hide some of what she does on behalf of the people.

The Seattle Times said it best!

“Forget everything you ever learned about how a bill becomes a law. Forget those public hearings, floor debates and deliberations.
With breathtaking speed, Washington lawmakers passed a bill Friday that removed themselves from the state’s voter-approved Public Records Act — keeping years of emails and other documents off-limits and making the Legislature its own gatekeeper when it comes to secrecy.”

Legislators passed the bill only 48 hours after it became public.

Legislative leaders would not say who drafted the bill, why it came so late in the legislative session and why it didn’t go through the traditional lawmaking process.

After The Seattle Times emailed all 147 lawmakers for comment in anticipation of a Friday vote, only a handful responded with their thoughts.

That all added up to what Toby Nixon, president of the Washington Coalition of Open Government called “an abomination.”

“The process just demonstrated incontrovertibly the utter contempt that legislators have for public participation in the public process,” said Nixon.”

Some time legislators stay too long in Olympia. They forget who they are serving. When an elected official believes their work must remain hidden from voters, it’s time for a change.


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