The Latest: Judge: Washington lawmaker records are public

AP News
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Posted: Jan 19, 2018 12:29 PM

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The Latest on a public records lawsuit that The Associated Press and other news organizations brought against the Washington state Legislature (all times local):

9:30 a.m.

A judge in Washington state has ruled that the records of state lawmakers are subject to public disclosure.

Thurston County Superior Court Judge Chris Lanese ruled Friday in favor of a media coalition, led by The Associated Press, that sued in September.

The group challenged the Washington Legislature's assertion that lawmakers are excluded from stricter disclosure rules that apply to other elected officials and agencies.

Attorneys for the Washington Legislature had argued that lawmakers exempted most of their records from the state's public records act through a series of changes in past years and therefore were not violating the law.

The news organizations filed requests for records from all 147 Washington lawmakers last year, including daily calendars, text messages and documentation of staff complaints against House and Senate members.

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5 a.m.

A judge is expected to issue a ruling in a public records lawsuit brought against the Washington Legislature by a coalition of news organizations.

Thurston County Superior Court Judge Chris Lanese is set to rule Friday morning. The news coalition, led by The Associated Press, sued in September. The news organizations are challenging state lawmakers' assertion they are excluded from stricter disclosure rules that apply to other elected officials and agencies.

Attorneys for the Washington Legislature argued in a court hearing last month that lawmakers pointedly exempted most of their records from the state's public records act through a series of changes in past years and therefore were not violating the law.

The news organizations filed requests for records from all 147 Washington lawmakers last year, including daily calendars, text messages and documentation of staff complaints against lawmakers.