NPI's Cascadia Advocate

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

Friday, January 13th, 2023

NPI-requested bill to repeal Eyman’s push polls moves out of Senate State Government

Leg­is­la­tion request­ed by NPI and intro­duced by Sen­a­tor Pat­ty Kud­er­er that would per­ma­nent­ly abol­ish Tim Eyman’s advi­so­ry votes push polls and replace them with truth­ful, use­ful fis­cal infor­ma­tion is on the move in the Wash­ing­ton State Senate.

Sen­ate Bill 5082 was pre­filed last month; it offi­cial­ly dropped this week with a whop­ping four­teen cospon­sors — near­ly half of the Sen­ate Demo­c­ra­t­ic caucus!

The spon­sors are:

Our thanks to all of them for sign­ing onto this bill.

After get­ting a hear­ing on the sec­ond day of ses­sion ear­li­er this week, the bill was report­ed out of the Sen­ate State Gov­ern­ment & Elec­tions Com­mit­tee today with a “do pass” major­i­ty rec­om­men­da­tion. The com­mit­tee also adopt­ed a strik­ing amend­ment we sup­port that makes minor changes to the por­tion of the leg­is­la­tion that replaces “advi­so­ry votes” with truth­ful, use­ful fis­cal information.

That amend­ment pro­vides for an online pre­sen­ta­tion of the bud­get sum­maries con­tem­plat­ed in the orig­i­nal bill, with a quick response code, phone num­ber, and URL in the print­ed voter’s pam­phlet to help vot­ers locate the information.

The bill has a fis­cal note.

For the first time since the incep­tion of this leg­is­la­tion, we have a Sec­re­tary of State, Steve Hobbs, who firm­ly sup­ports doing away with “advi­so­ry votes.” We are grate­ful to Sec­re­tary Hobbs for his enthu­si­asm and encouragement.

NPI’s research shows our bill would save tax­pay­ers mil­lions of dol­lars in bal­lot design, print­ing, and tab­u­la­tion costs every year due to the elim­i­na­tion of “advi­so­ry votes,” which waste space on our bal­lots. There would also be some small costs asso­ci­at­ed with the prepa­ra­tion of the replace­ment fis­cal infor­ma­tion. Con­se­quent­ly, SB 5082 has been referred to Sen­ate Ways & Means. Chair Chris­tine Rolfes is, as men­tioned above, a cospon­sor of the legislation.

The roll call on the bill in Sen­ate State Gov­ern­ment was as follows:

Sup­port­ing a “do pass” rec­om­men­da­tion: Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­a­tors Sam Hunt, Pat­ty Kud­er­er, Bob Hasegawa, Javier Valdez (all cospon­sors of the bill)

Offer­ing a “do not pass” rec­om­men­da­tion: Repub­li­can Sen­a­tor Phil Fortunato

With­out rec­om­men­da­tion: Repub­li­can Sen­a­tors Jeff Wil­son and Per­ry Dozier

“Advi­so­ry vote” cre­ator Tim Eyman is not sur­pris­ing­ly livid that we are con­tin­u­ing our noble efforts to lib­er­ate our bal­lots from his pro­pa­gan­da. Because he was­n’t pay­ing atten­tion (by his own admis­sion!), he hilar­i­ous­ly missed the hear­ing on SB 5082 and did not tes­ti­fy, spar­ing every­one on the com­mit­tee and all the oth­er tes­ti­fiers from hav­ing to lis­ten to one of his grat­ing, insult-laden tirades.

Annoyed with him­self, Eyman asked Chair Sam Hunt for spe­cial leave to recon­vene the hear­ing so he could deliv­er a dia­tribe to the State Gov­ern­ment Com­mit­tee before the exec­u­tive ses­sion today (a request that quick­ly became the sub­ject of jokes around the Capi­tol Cam­pus), but his plea went unanswered.

Eyman did make the hear­ing on the House com­pan­ion bill, HB 1158, the fol­low­ing day (Wednes­day, Jan­u­ary 11th). HB 1158 is iden­ti­cal­ly word­ed to SB 5082 as it exist­ed when it was intro­duced at the begin­ning of the 2023 session.

HB 1158 has twen­ty-two spon­sors, includ­ing prime spon­sor Amy Walen (D‑48th Dis­trict: Belle­vue, Kirk­land, Red­mond). At that hear­ing, Eyman called the peo­ple of Wash­ing­ton State “slaves” while denounc­ing our leg­is­la­tion; this prompt­ed com­mit­tee Chair Bill Ramos to gav­el Eyman out of order and declare his tes­ti­mo­ny at an end. (A video clip of Eyman’s offen­sive com­ments is avail­able here.)

NPI extends its most pro­found thanks to the State Gov­ern­ment & Elec­tions Com­mit­tee for quick­ly advanc­ing SB 5082 for­ward for fur­ther con­sid­er­a­tion in the Sen­ate. This is leg­is­la­tion that will ben­e­fit all Wash­ing­to­ni­ans, knock­ing down a prob­lem­at­ic bar­ri­er to vot­ing and rid­ding our bal­lots of anti-tax pro­pa­gan­da.

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