BILL REQ. #:  H-1102.1 


State of Washington61st Legislature2009 Regular Session

By Representatives Carlyle, Pedersen, Hunt, Ericks, Crouse, Hunter, Haler, White, Dunshee, Seaquist, Liias, Takko, Anderson, Kelley, Goodman, Eddy, Jacks, Van De Wege, Roberts, Orwall, Upthegrove, Rolfes, Hasegawa, Moeller, Wallace, Priest, Dickerson, Hudgins, Darneille, Appleton, Kenney, Conway, and Nelson

Read first time 01/28/09.   Referred to Committee on State Government & Tribal Affairs.

     AN ACT Relating to the enhancement of legislative web sites; amending RCW 42.52.180; and adding a new section to chapter 42.52 RCW.


NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1   A new section is added to chapter 42.52 RCW to read as follows:
     This chapter shall not be interpreted to hold a legislator or legislative employee responsible for nonlegislative material found on nonlegislative web sites in cases where links are established from their official legislative web sites to any other internet web site, except those paid for by a candidate as defined by RCW 42.17.020(9) or political committee as defined by RCW 42.17.020(39).

Sec. 2   RCW 42.52.180 and 1995 c 397 s 30 are each amended to read as follows:
     (1) No state officer or state employee may use or authorize the use of facilities of an agency, directly or indirectly, for the purpose of assisting a campaign for election of a person to an office or for the promotion of or opposition to a ballot proposition. Knowing acquiescence by a person with authority to direct, control, or influence the actions of the state officer or state employee using public resources in violation of this section constitutes a violation of this section. Facilities of an agency include, but are not limited to, use of stationery, postage, machines, and equipment, use of state employees of the agency during working hours, vehicles, office space, publications of the agency, and clientele lists of persons served by the agency.
     (2) This section shall not apply to the following activities:
     (a) Action taken at an open public meeting by members of an elected legislative body to express a collective decision, or to actually vote upon a motion, proposal, resolution, order, or ordinance, or to support or oppose a ballot proposition as long as (i) required notice of the meeting includes the title and number of the ballot proposition, and (ii) members of the legislative body or members of the public are afforded an approximately equal opportunity for the expression of an opposing view;
     (b) A statement by an elected official in support of or in opposition to any ballot proposition at an open press conference or in response to a specific inquiry. For the purposes of this subsection, it is not a violation of this section for an elected official to respond to an inquiry regarding a ballot proposition, to make incidental remarks concerning a ballot proposition in an official communication, or otherwise comment on a ballot proposition without an actual, measurable expenditure of public funds. The ethics boards shall adopt by rule a definition of measurable expenditure;
     (c) Usage of an official legislative web site under section 1 of this act;
Activities that are part of the normal and regular conduct of the office or agency; and
     (((d))) (e) De minimis use of public facilities by statewide elected officials and legislators incidental to the preparation or delivery of permissible communications, including written and verbal communications initiated by them of their views on ballot propositions that foreseeably may affect a matter that falls within their constitutional or statutory responsibilities.
     (3) As to state officers and employees, this section operates to the exclusion of RCW 42.17.130.

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