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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Washington Supreme Court exempts bar association from open meetings law

The 8-1 decision exempts the Washington Bar Association from a collection of laws passed in 1971 referred to as the Open Public Meetings Act. The aim of those laws is to ensure groups conducting business required by or "pursuant to" state law do so transparently. The court was asked to determine whether the laws applied by the bar association themselves after a member legally challenged the controversial ouster of their executive director in January 2019, which was done behind closed doors. 

Abuse survivors demand Vatican transparency, accountability

Survivors of clergy sexual abuse met with organizers of a Vatican prevention summit Wednesday and demanded transparency, zero tolerance for abuse and for religious superiors to be held accountable when they protect priests who rape and molest children.

Editorial: Lawmakers still want to keep secrets from Washingtonians

Wednesday’s weather provided a suitable backdrop for state lawmakers intent on passing a secrecy bill. Clouds hung low over Olympia, obscuring any sunshine, and snow statewide prevented people from attending a hearing about it held by the Senate State Government, Tribal Relations & Elections Committee. A year ago, the Legislature passed a bill exempting itself from the Public Records Act. Washingtonians responded with justified outrage, inundating the governor’s office with letters of opposition. Gov. Jay Inslee vetoed that bill, and lawmakers agreed to spend some time carefully studying the issue to identify a better approach.

Editorial: Veto the Legislature’s secrecy bill

Last week, the Washington Legislature hurriedly approved a bill to create a special public records law just for them. It’s far weaker than the Public Records Act that applies to most of the rest of government. Now Gov. Jay Inslee must decide if he will become complicit in this legislative cowardice by signing the bill or if he will stand with the people and veto it.