According to court documents filed by the Washington Attorney General’s office, state legislators may choose to withhold some records from the public.
The News Tribune reported that according to documents submitted this week in response to a lawsuit about the matter, “Defendants are protected from being ordered to produce certain records under Article II, Section 17 of the Washington Constitution.”
Arthur West, an advocate for open government, filed a lawsuit in January to determine whether politicians can withhold data and exempt them from the state’s Public Records Act by claiming legislative privilege. After the newspaper revealed in January that lawmakers had begun utilizing the so-called legislative privilege to prevent the release of their records, the lawsuit followed.
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Legislative privilege, according to West, is “a matter of