Our View: The power of the public

Gov. Jay Inslee’s veto of legislation that sought to exempt the state Legislature from the state’s Public Records Act shows the massive power of the public.

Give yourselves a round of applause.

It was your thousands of emails, phone calls and letters to the governor’s office that sparked intense last-minute negotiations leading to the veto and to some legislators urging Inslee to veto the measure despite the fact that they had voted for it.

The agreement came hours before Senate Bill 6617 would have become law on Thursday.

In return for the veto, a media coalition that sued over legislative records last year agreed that while an appeal is progress, it would not seek enforcement of the Thurston County Superior Court ruling that state lawmakers are fully subject to state public disclosure laws.

The media groups also agreed not to launch an initiative effort while the stay was in place.

Representatives will work on a task force with lawmakers to attempt to resolve issues while the court case continues. If the veto were to be overridden, it would have to happen this week, since the end of the legislative session is Thursday.

District 24 lawmakers — those who represent Clallam and Jefferson counties and part of Grays Harbor County — say such a vote won’t happen and that the issue will be addressed in the next legislative session.

So your input is still needed. Contact your legislators to tell them how you feel and to suggest any measures you would like to see enacted in the future.

Here’s how to reach them:

• Rep. Mike Chapman, D- Port Angeles, call 360-786-7916 or email [email protected]

• Rep. Steve Tharinger, D-Sequim, call 360-786-7904 or email [email protected]

• Sen. Kevin Van De Wege, D-Sequim, call his Olympia Office at 360-786-7646 or email [email protected]

You can write Chapman and Tharinger at P.O. Box 40600 and Van De Wege at P.O. Box 40424, Olympia, WA 98504. You also can call the legislative hotline at 800-562-6000, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays (closed on holidays and from noon to 1 p.m.) and leave a detailed message, which will be emailed to Chapman, Tharinger, Van de Wege or to all three.

Now that you have seen what you can accomplish, stay involved in your government.

More in Opinion

POINT OF VIEW: Protect Clallam County’s access to health care

By Eric Lewis Chief Executive Officer Olympic Medical Center CLALLAM COUNTY’S HEALTH… Continue reading

PAT NEAL: The lost and the not yet lost

THERE ARE ONLY two types of mushroom pickers. Those that have gotten… Continue reading

WEST END NEIGHBOR: Twilight festival brings faithful to Forks

TRINITY HANNING, 16, told me her stagecraft teacher said “she is possessed… Continue reading

PAT NEAL: Blue-tarp camping misery

THERE’S NOTHING QUITE like the sound of rain on the roof, unless… Continue reading

PAT NEAL: You can’t go crabbing in a tidal wave

THANK YOU FOR reading this. Sometimes I think if you didn’t read… Continue reading

DIANE URBANI DE LA PAZ: Carol, Jim, Jimmy and Lillian

IT’S A NEW, old story. About 20 years ago, Carol Swarbrick and… Continue reading

WEST END NEIGHBOR: Still a bumpy path to jobs’ completion in Forks

WHEN SOMEBODY SAYS “the best laid plans” and leaves the words to… Continue reading

PAT NEAL: The coming subduction event

IT WAS ANOTHER tough week in the news. The state Department of… Continue reading

PAT NEAL: Up in smoke

THOSE WHO IGNORE history are doomed to watch television. This enduring truth… Continue reading

WEST END NEIGHBOR: It’s not just the park — it’s the people

LOOKING DOWN AT the ladder of the avalanche chute, it appeared the… Continue reading

DIANE URBANI DE LA PAZ: A fresh look, in full color

IT HAPPENS WHEN least expected. A single still image beams me back… Continue reading