- Associated Press - Friday, December 22, 2017

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - The Latest on a lawsuit filed against the Washington Legislature by a coalition of news media organizations over records access (all times local):

3: p.m.

A judge in Washington state is weighing a case that will determine whether the Legislature is fully subject to the state’s public records act.

Thurston County Superior Court Judge Chris Lanese heard arguments for more than two hours Friday in a key hearing in a case brought by a coalition of news organizations led by The Associated Press, who sued in September. He asked the attorney general’s office to weigh in with a written brief within the next two weeks.

The coalition is challenging state lawmakers’ assertion they are excluded from stricter disclosure rules that apply to other elected officials and agencies.

The lawsuit focuses on how the Legislature interprets a 1995 revision to a 1971 definition of legislative records. Lawyers for the House and Senate regularly cite that change as a reason to withhold records, arguing that most lawmaker records - including calendars and text messages - are not considered public.

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7:58 a.m.

A key hearing will be held on a public records lawsuit filed against the Washington Legislature by a coalition of news organizations.

After several weeks of cross motions being filed in the case, Thurston County Superior Court Judge Chris Lanese is holding a summary judgment hearing at 1:30 p.m Friday.

The coalition, led by The Associated Press, sued in September. The news organizations are challenging state lawmakers’ assertion they are excluded from stricter disclosure rules that apply to other elected officials and agencies.

The lawsuit focuses on how the Legislature interprets a 1995 revision to a 1971 definition of legislative records. Lawyers for the House and Senate regularly cite that change as a reason to withhold records, arguing that most lawmaker records - including calendars and text messages - are not considered public.


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