2016 Legislature Adds to the Monetary Penalty for an OPMA Violation
May 11, 2016 by Bob Meinig
Open Public Meetings Act
A violation of the Open Public Meetings Act
(OPMA) can result in a number of consequences, one of which is a monetary penalty for each member of a governing body who attends a meeting knowing that it is being held in violation of the OPMA. Responding, in part, to concerns that Washington State lags behind many other states regarding penalty amounts for open meetings law violations, that the amount of this penalty hasn’t changed in over 40 years, and that an increased personal penalty on officials would more effectively deter OPMA violations, the Legislature increased the existing $100 civil penalty, effective June 9, 2016, to $500 for a first violation and $1,000 for each successive violation. Note, too, that there are other consequences resulting from an OPMA violation.
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