State of Washington
65th Legislature
2017 Regular Session
By Representatives Pollet, Harmsworth, Stanford, and Kilduff
Read first time 02/06/17. Referred to Committee on State Govt, Elections & IT.
AN ACT Relating to advisory groups and public meetings; adding a new section to chapter 42.30 RCW; and creating a new section.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.  The intent of Initiative Measure No. 276, which established the state's open government laws, requires that governmental functions are conducted in the open, including both meetings and public access to information relating to those governmental functions.
The legislature finds that trust in government is damaged, and fundamental rights to observe governmental actions are impacted, if advisory committees, which are established by a governmental agency to provide formal advice to that agency, do not meet in the open pursuant to chapter 42.30 RCW.
The legislature finds further that the functional equivalency test, adopted in Telford v. Thurston County Board of Commissioners, 95 Wn. App. 149 (1999) provides a useful framework for defining when an entity performing a governmental function delegated to it by a governmental agency should be regarded as a public agency for purposes of open meetings, disclosure, and transparency. The legislature finds that the public interest includes the right to observe deliberations and action of such governmental functions.
NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2.  A new section is added to chapter 42.30 RCW to read as follows:
(1) An advisory board, committee, or other entity established by a public agency to provide formal advice or recommendations to the agency is subject to the provisions of this chapter. This requirement applies to any meeting that involves the transaction of official business, which would be an action if taken by the governing body of a public agency, including, but not limited to, any vote or decision to make recommendations to a convening agency or agencies. Any advisory board, committee, or other entity established jointly by a public agency and a federal agency, including any advisory body recognized in any consent agreement or order as providing advice to any state agency, must comply with the provisions of this chapter to the extent that federal law does not preempt compliance. This subsection does not expand or affect the determination of when the governing body of a public agency is taking action or meeting pursuant to this chapter.
(2) A subcommittee of a governing body of an agency is subject to the provisions of this chapter if it is formed by the governing body delegating action to such subcommittee, including receipt of comments on which the subcommittee will report to the full governing body, or preparation of a recommended action, to the same degree that the governing body would be if the action were not delegated.
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