NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Sunday, February 11th, 2018

Victory! Washington’s House overwhelmingly votes for net neutrality at the state level

Net neu­tral­i­ty may be in grave per­il at the fed­er­al lev­el, but states like Wash­ing­ton are step­ping up to pro­tect the idea of a free and open Inter­net.

By a vote of nine­ty-three to five, the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives on Fri­day adopt­ed leg­is­la­tion that would safe­guard net neu­tral­i­ty at the state lev­el. SHB 2282, prime spon­sored by State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Drew Hansen (D‑23rd Dis­trict: Bain­bridge Island) would pro­hib­it Inter­net ser­vice providers from block­ing or throt­tling law­ful con­tent. It would also pro­hib­it “paid pri­or­i­ti­za­tion” schemes.

“The net neu­tral­i­ty rules have been pro­tect­ing a free and open inter­net for some years now, and today’s vote shows we have broad bipar­ti­san sup­port for main­tain­ing these pro­tec­tions for Wash­ing­ton con­sumers even after they go away at the fed­er­al lev­el,” said Hansen in a state­ment.

Hansen worked to build sup­port for the bill with his Repub­li­can col­league Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Nor­ma Smith of Whid­bey Island.

“This is about pre­serv­ing a fair and free inter­net so all Wash­ing­to­ni­ans can par­tic­i­pate equal­ly in the 21st cen­tu­ry econ­o­my,” said Smith.

“I am heart­ened by the over­whelm­ing show of sup­port this bill received today, and am proud to have worked close­ly with Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Hansen to ensure we are pro­tect­ing every­one in Wash­ing­ton state from the unin­tend­ed con­se­quences of a con­sol­i­da­tion of pow­er,” she added. “Net neu­tral­i­ty is an issue of tremen­dous impor­tance that will mat­ter today, tomor­row and gen­er­a­tions from now. We have to get this right, and today was a good first step.”

We strong­ly agree and we thank Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Hansen and Smith for bring­ing this bill to the floor and ensur­ing it sailed out of the House with strong sup­port.

The roll call on SHB 2282 was as fol­lows:

Roll Call
SHB 2282
Net neu­tral­i­ty
Final Pas­sage
2/9/2018

Yeas: 93; Nays: 5

Vot­ing Yea: Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Apple­ton, Barkis, Bergquist, Blake, Caldier, Chan­dler, Chap­man, Clib­born, Cody, Con­dot­ta, DeBolt, Dent, Doglio, Dolan, Eslick, Fey, Fitzgib­bon, Frame, Good­man, Graves, Gregerson, Grif­fey, Haler, Hansen, Har­grove, Harmsworth, Har­ris, Hayes, Holy, Hud­gins, Irwin, Jenkin, Jink­ins, John­son, Kagi, Kil­duff, Kir­by, Klip­pert, Klo­ba, Kraft, Kretz, Kris­tiansen, Lovick, Lyt­ton, MacEwen, Macri, Man­weller, May­cum­ber, McBride, McCabe, McCaslin, McDon­ald, Mor­ris, Muri, Nealey, Orcutt, Orms­by, Ortiz-Self, Orwall, Pel­lic­ciot­ti, Peter­son, Pet­ti­grew, Pike, Pol­let, Reeves, Ric­cel­li, Robin­son, Rodne, Ryu, San­tos, Sawyer, Schmick, Sells, Senn, Shea, Slat­ter, Smith, Springer, Stam­baugh, Stan­ford, Steele, Stonier, Sul­li­van, Tar­leton, Tay­lor, Tharinger, Valdez, Van Wer­ven, Volz, Walsh, Wylie, Young, Chopp

Vot­ing Nay: Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Buys, Dye, Stokes­bary, Vick, Wilcox

Five Repub­li­cans — Vin­cent Buys, Mary Due, Drew Stokes­bary, Bran­don Vick, and J.T. Wilcox — vot­ed against the bill. Every oth­er mem­ber of the House vot­ed aye.

The House passed a dif­fer­ent net neu­tral­i­ty bill last ses­sion, but it went nowhere in the Sen­ate because Sen­ate Repub­li­cans were not inter­est­ed in it.

Now that the Sen­ate is under Demo­c­ra­t­ic man­age­ment, the bill has a good chance of pass­ing and reach­ing Gov­er­nor Inslee’s desk. We’ll cer­tain­ly be doing our part to make that hap­pen. Net neu­tral­i­ty is the key to keep­ing the Inter­net free and open.

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