NPI's Cascadia Advocate

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

Wednesday, February 8th, 2023

VICTORY! Washington State Senate again passes bill to abolish Tim Eyman’s push polls

A North­west Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute bill that would advance vot­ing jus­tice in Wash­ing­ton by get­ting rid of Tim Eyman’s advi­so­ry votes push polls sailed out of the Wash­ing­ton State Sen­ate after receiv­ing a bipar­ti­san vote of sup­port this morn­ing, with thir­ty sen­a­tors vot­ing in favor and eigh­teen vot­ing against.

Sen­ate Bill 5082, prime spon­sored by Sen­a­tor Pat­ty Kud­er­er (D‑48th Dis­trict: Red­mond, Belle­vue, Kirk­land) does two things: it lib­er­ates our bal­lots from Eyman’s annu­al anti-tax pro­pa­gan­da, sav­ing tax­pay­ers mil­lions of dol­lars, and replaces them with use­ful, truth­ful fis­cal infor­ma­tion pre­pared by leg­isla­tive and OFM staff that will be avail­able online in advance of every gen­er­al elec­tion, ref­er­enced in the voter’s pam­phlet with a QR code, phone num­ber, and URL.

The bill is cospon­sored by near­ly half of the Sen­ate Demo­c­ra­t­ic cau­cus and was select­ed by Sen­ate lead­er­ship for ear­ly bill action this session.

The bill had its pub­lic hear­ing on the sec­ond day of ses­sion, with eleven speak­ers tes­ti­fy­ing in favor and two opposed. Tim Eyman hilar­i­ous­ly did not show up at the hear­ing because he was not pay­ing atten­tion. The bill received a “do pass” rec­om­men­da­tion in the State Gov­ern­ment Com­mit­tee a few days lat­er, and then breezed through both Ways & Means and Rules onto the Sen­ate’s floor calendar.

SB 5082 is the fifth incar­na­tion of this vot­ing jus­tice leg­is­la­tion; Sen­a­tor Pat­ty Kud­er­er and NPI have kept deter­mined­ly bring­ing it back because our state needs it. Hope­ful­ly, this is the year that it gets signed into law by Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee.

Pri­or to pass­ing the bill, the Sen­ate adopt­ed a floor strik­ing amend­ment spon­sored by Sen­a­tor Kud­er­er, which reflects our input and which we sup­port. This amend­ment strength­ens Part III of the bill, ensur­ing that the replace­ment for “advi­so­ry votes” can be smooth­ly imple­ment­ed and ful­fill its noble pur­pose of help­ing vot­ers under­stand the state of the state’s finances.

A slew of Repub­li­can attempts to sab­o­tage the bill and sub­ject it to a ref­er­en­dum were vot­ed down by the cham­ber’s Demo­c­ra­t­ic majority.

The roll call vote on SB 5082 was as follows:

SSB 5082
Repeal and replace­ment of “advi­so­ry votes”
Sen­ate vote on 3rd Read­ing & Final Passage

Yeas: 30; Nays: 18; Excused: 1

Vot­ing Yea: Sen­a­tor Bil­lig, Cleve­land, Con­way, Dhin­gra, Frame, Hasegawa, Hawkins, Hunt, Kauff­man, Keis­er, Kud­er­er, Liias, Lovelett, Lovick, Mul­let, Nguyen, Nobles, Ped­er­sen, Ran­dall, Robin­son, Rolfes, Sal­daña, Salomon, Shew­make, Stan­ford, Trudeau, Valdez, Van De Wege, Well­man, Wil­son (Claire)

Vot­ing Nay: Sen­a­tor Boehnke, Braun, Dozi­er, For­tu­na­to, Gildon, Holy, King, MacEwen, McCune, Muz­za­ll, Rivers, Schoesler, Short, Tor­res, Wag­oner, War­nick, Wil­son (Jeff) Wil­son (Lyn­da)

Excused: Sen­a­tor Padden

Every Demo­c­ra­t­ic sen­a­tor vot­ed for the bill, joined by Repub­li­can Brad Hawkins. The cham­ber’s oth­er Repub­li­cans vot­ed against the bill.

Hawkins also crossed par­ty lines to sup­port this leg­is­la­tion in 2019. He was joined by two oth­er Repub­li­cans in back­ing the first incar­na­tion of the bill — Sen­a­tors Hans Zeiger and Bar­bara Bai­ley — who have since left the Legislature.

We’ve pub­lished a state­ment thank­ing the Sen­ate for its lead­er­ship and deci­sive vote for this bill, which is avail­able through our Per­ma­nent Defense project.

Sen­a­tor Kud­er­er, Sen­a­tor Hunt, and Sen­a­tor Bil­lig deserve every­one’s thanks for get­ting us to this impor­tant mile­stone less than one month into session.

We are also deeply grate­ful to all of our allies and part­ners for their help in advo­cat­ing for this nec­es­sary leg­is­la­tion. Today’s vote is proof that our grass­roots lob­by­ing is get­ting results for the vot­ers and tax­pay­ers of Wash­ing­ton State.

SB 5082 now heads to the Wash­ing­ton State House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives. It will have its first read­ing short­ly and then be referred to the House State Gov­ern­ment & Trib­al Rela­tions Com­mit­tee for a hear­ing and exec­u­tive action.

That com­mit­tee has already held a hear­ing on 5082’s House com­pan­ion bill, HB 1158, which is prime spon­sored by our House cham­pi­on, Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Amy Walen (D‑48th Dis­trict: Red­mond, Kirk­land, Belle­vue) and cospon­sored by a third of the House Demo­c­ra­t­ic cau­cus, includ­ing Major­i­ty Leader Joe Fitzgib­bon, Major­i­ty Whip Alex Ramel, and Major­i­ty Floor Leader Mon­i­ca Stonier.

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