EHB 1210
C 67 L 23
Synopsis as Enacted
Brief Description: Concerning the recording of school board meetings.
Sponsors: Representatives Rude, Callan, Fey and Bergquist.
House Committee on State Government & Tribal Relations
Senate Committee on State Government & Elections

The Public Records Act.

The Public Records Act (PRA) generally requires state and local governmental entities to make many government records available to the public upon request.  There are, however, over 500 statutory exemptions for certain records or information contained in records.


A request under the PRA must be for identifiable records.  A person cannot request all or substantially all of the records of an agency.  A person may, however, request all of the records regarding a particular topic or containing a particular keyword or name.


The Open Public Meetings Act.

The Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA) requires many governmental entities to conduct their meetings in public.  Any member of the public is entitled to attend a meeting subject to the OPMA without being required to provide a name or fulfill any other condition.  Governing bodies may not vote by secret ballot and minutes of these meetings are open to public inspection.


Governing bodies are permitted to hold nonpublic executive sessions for limited purposes.  These purposes include:

  • considering certain matters related to national security or a data security breach;
  • considering real estate purchases or sales, when doing so publicly would affect the price;
  • reviewing negotiations on publicly bid contracts, when doing so would increase costs;
  • evaluating the performance of, or complaints or charges brought against, a public officer or employee;
  • evaluating the qualifications of job applicants or candidates to appoint to elective office;
  • discussing certain matters with legal counsel related to enforcement actions, litigation, or potential litigation; and
  • considering certain grant applications and grant awards.

The Public Records Act.

A PRA request for recordings of a meeting of a school district board of directors must specify the date of each meeting requested, or a range of dates.  When a school district is searching for and providing records in response to a PRA request, the district is only required to consider whether the date of a meeting has been included in the request.


It is not a violation of the PRA if the school district is unable to provide a recording of a school district board meeting because of technical issues.


The Open Public Meetings Act.

All regular and special meetings of a school district board of directors at which a final action is taken or formal public testimony is accepted must be audio recorded, except for executive sessions and meetings conducted in an emergency situation.


The audio recordings must include comments made by the directors and the public, if formal public testimony was accepted.  Audio recordings must be kept for at least one year.  It is not a violation of the OPMA if the school district attempts to record a meeting in good faith but, due to technological issues, a recording is not made or is unintelligible in whole or part.


Whenever possible, school districts are encouraged to make the content of school board of directors meetings available in formats accessible to individuals who need communication assistance and in languages other than English.

Votes on Final Passage:
House 96 1
Senate 48 0

June 30, 2024