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October 07th, 2022
L&T Opinions Page

A SECOND OPINION, The Seattle Times


EDITOR’S NOTE — The Seattle Times on legislative secrecy, an editorial that ran on the newspaper’s front page, in an unusual move.

Flanked by cameras, Gov. Jay Inslee boldly stood before President Donald Trump on Monday and told our commander in chief to listen to the people.

Inslee now needs to follow his own advice here at home. He must veto Senate Bill 6617, state lawmakers’ flagrant and rushed attempt to avoid following Washington’s Public Records Act.

Lawmakers hastily introduced and passed the legislation within 48 hours last week — a clear yet clandestine effort to evade a January court ruling that found they have been illegally withholding emails and other important documents from the public.

Hundreds of people emailed the governor’s office over the weekend to demand Inslee veto the bill. And, on Tuesday, The Seattle Times was joined by 12 other newspapers that ran editorials on the front page, urging the governor to veto the measure.

Yet Inslee told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes that he cannot block SB 6617 “because they have a veto-proof majority.”

This is not true. Inslee absolutely can and should veto the legislation, forcing lawmakers to once again take this vote. This time, constituents are watching more closely.

Lawmakers can override Inslee’s veto only if they hold a second misguided vote, ignoring this week’s public backlash and the front-page objections of newspapers throughout the state.

In his televised comments Monday, Inslee called SB 6617 a “bad idea” and unnecessary, while proudly trumpeting his administration as “the most transparent  in our state’s history.”

Now is the time for Inslee’s actions to live up to his words.

Vetoing the bill would show legislators they are not, in fact, above the law, and that the state’s executive will stand up to them when their actions diverge from the public interest.



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