SENATE BILL REPORT
This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.
As of March 20, 2015
Title: An act relating to modifying exemptions relating to real estate appraisals.
Brief Description: Modifying exemptions relating to real estate appraisals.
Sponsors: Representatives Bergquist, Holy and S. Hunt.
Brief History: Passed House: 3/04/15, 78-20.
Committee Activity: Government Operations & Security: 3/24/15.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS & SECURITY
Staff: Samuel Brown (786-7470)
Background: The Public Records Act, enacted in 1972 as part of Initiative 276, requires that all state and local government agencies make all public records available for public inspection and copying unless certain statutory exemptions apply. The provisions requiring public records disclosure must be interpreted liberally while the exemptions are interpreted narrowly to effectuate the general policy favoring disclosure. The contents of real estate appraisals are exempt from public inspection and copying until all of the property subject to the appraisal has been sold. The exemption lasts for a maximum of three years.
The Open Public Meetings Act requires that all meetings of the governing body of a public agency be open to the public and all persons must be allowed to attend. A governing body may meet without the public in executive session for portions of a regular or special meeting. The permissible subjects for an executive session are limited to those enumerated in statute, and include the acquisition or sale of real estate when public knowledge would adversely affect the sale price.
Summary of Bill: Documents prepared by an agency for the purpose of considering the selection of a site or acquisition of real estate are exempt from public inspection and copying if public knowledge would cause a likelihood of increased price.
Documents prepared by an agency for the purpose of considering the minimum price for which real estate will be offered for sale are exempt from public inspection and copying if public knowledge would cause a likelihood of decreased price.
In both cases, the exemption ends when all properties in the documents are purchased, sold, or leased, or the project or prospective project is abandoned.
Fiscal Note: Not requested.
Committee/Commission/Task Force Created: No.
Effective Date: Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.