Washington state Democrats push quietly to roll back open-records laws

OLYMPIA — Washington’s Democrats didn’t campaign last year on rolling back the state’s Public Disclosure Act.

But with their new one-seat state Senate majority, Democratic lawmakers have swiftly and quietly pushed two bills to curb parts of Washington’s open-records laws.

Lawmakers call the measures necessary to protect state employees from harassment and identify theft, and to limit federal use of state voter data. Unions are supporting at least one of the measures.

Senate Bill 6079 would exempt the birth dates of state employees from the public-records law. The second bill, Senate Bill 6353, would expand automatic voter registration, but language added to the legislation would remove birth dates and months in Washington’s voter-registration files from public disclosure. Read more…