Editorial: Washington lawmakers make welcome hike in penalties for violating open meetings law

Washington state lawmakers took a positive step this spring toward making sure public business is conducted in the open.

The state’s Open Public Meetings Act sets strict standards for the governing bodies of public agencies. With only narrow exceptions, discussions and decisions by public agencies must be open to the public.

This includes virtually every governmental unit — including local-government entities, special-purpose districts, school boards, commissions and departments. The purpose of the act is to “allow the public to view the decision making process at all stages,” according to a court decision. Continue…