On Tuesday, January 14, HB 1888 was heard in committee. Public employees testified about the harassment they or their coworkers have faced on the job. One former corrections officer described being stalked and harassed for more than 10 years by an inmate who used public records requests to access her personal information.
The bill’s opponents – representing newspaper owners, other media companies, and the Freedom Foundation – argued that public employee birthdates are necessary to hold the government accountable. When committee Chair Mia Gregerson asked the media representatives to respond to the safety concerns raised by vulnerable public employees, they dismissed the concerns, saying that such personal information was widely available other places.
Public employees have answered the call to do the people’s work. That work is often thankless and dangerous. Our employers shouldn’t expose public servants to more harassment and risk. Tell your legislators to pass HB 1888.
You can watch the hearing on TVW here: https://www.tvw.org/watch/?eventID=2020011083
On Friday, January 17, the Senate State Government Committee heard SB 5246, a bill that would, in its current form, release the city, state, and zip code of our home addresses. The same lobbyist for the newspaper owners who opposed HB 1888 testified in support of SB 5246, pushing forward a bill to expose even more of our members’ personal information to anyone who asks for it. WPEA testified against the bill, and we expect that it will either be amended to fix this section, or the bill will be stopped in committee.
You can watch the hearing for SB 5246 on TVW here: https://www.tvw.org/watch/?eventID=2020011143