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:
- Patty Kuderer
- Sam Hunt
- Steve Conway
- Manka Dhingra
- Noel Frame
- Bob Hasegawa
- Joe Nguyen
- T’wina Nobles
- Jamie Pedersen
- Christine Rolfes
- Javier Valdez
- Kevin Van De Wege
- Lisa Wellman
- Claire Wilson
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.