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Time to update the PRA | Letter

I am a public employee working at Bellevue College. I’m writing to express my concern about public records requests for public employees’ birth dates. Several such requests have been made in recent years, and each time, my colleagues at public colleges and state agencies feel helpless, fearful, and angry.

When the Public Records Act was written over 40 years ago, identity theft was not common and cyber-theft was non-existent. Now there are criminals who buy social security numbers and birth dates for those purposes. Even 20 years ago our Social Security numbers were printed in full on public documents; now we know better.

It’s time to update the Public Records Act and exempt employee birth dates from disclosure. Senator Patty Kuderer has introduced SB 6079 to do exactly that. Thanks to Senator Kuderer for working to modernize the public records act and keep those of us who work in public service safe from harassment and identity theft.

Becky Turnbull