Kessler concedes defeat on taping bill — for this year

OLYMPIA — Rep. Lynn Kessler says that her bill requiring city councils and other local governing bodies to record their closed-door, or executive, sessions is dead for this legislative session.

She vowed to try again next year.

Open-government advocates led by Attorney General Rob McKenna and Auditor Brian Sonntag sought the law, saying it would lead to better accountability.

“I talked to House Speaker Frank Chopp, and he said it looks like I don’t have support on both sides of the aisle,” Kessler said in a telephone interview. “But I’m going to bring it back again next year.

“It’s really necessary to affirm that the public trusts us when we go into executive session that we aren’t going to violate the Open Public Meetings Act.”

Kessler, D-Hoquiam and the majority leader in the state House, represents Jefferson and Clallam counties and part of Grays Harbor County along with Rep. Kevin Van De Wege, D-Sequim, and state Sen. Jim Hargrove, D-Hoquiam.

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