Worst anti-initiative bill ever – tell legislators to oppose Senate Bill 5386, the initiative-death-by-delay bill

by | Jan 16, 2018

RE: Worst anti-initiative bill ever – tell legislators to oppose Senate Bill 5386, the initiative-death-by-delay bill – there’s a hearing on Friday 8 am in the Cherberg Building before the Senate State Gov’t committee – I’ll be there to testify against it

Every year, legislators who hate the citizen initiative process push anti-initiative bills to shut down the people’s right to participate. This year, they’ve created the worst bill yet. It’s called Senate Bill 5386, the initiative-death-by-delay bill.

First of all, getting an initiative qualified for a public vote is already super tough. A massive number of signatures are required. But under Senate Bill 5386, before signature collecting could even begin on an initiative, years of delays would be mandated. Here’s how:

Under SB 5386, after you pay a $500 filing fee (a 9900% increase over the current $5 fee), the bill requires a 45 day review of the initiative by the Attorney General. It then requires a 30 day “public comment period.” Then it allows anyone to legally challenge the initiative, guaranteeing years of delay, and forcing the courts, FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, to review initiatives that haven’t even qualified for a vote or been approved by the people.

Only after all that is the Attorney General allowed to assign the initiative an official ballot title which is necessary before petitions can be printed.

SB 5386 is the initiative-death-by-delay bill.

Most insidious of all, SB 5386 will ensure that all laws passed by the Legislature will never be challenged. Lawmakers have already eliminated the referendum power by slapping emergency clauses on laws they want immunized from citizen referendum. But currently, when the Legislature passes a controversial law, even one with an emergency clause, the people still have the right to do an initiative to give the people the chance to overturn it. But SB 5386’s delays ensure that any legislative bill is initiative-proof because the early July deadline for signatures will be impossible to achieve (again, because of the bill’s mandated delays).

SB 5386 ensures that anything the Legislature does — any tax imposed, any policy change created, any right eliminated or created — will be referendum-proof and initiative-proof.

In other words, the people’s rights guaranteed by our state Constitution will be negated.

The Democrats and Republicans sponsoring this bill hate the initiative process and want to see it ended. But instead of proposing a constitutional amendment to eliminate the initiative process (as Seattle Senator Ken Jacobsen used to do), they’re claiming, with a straight face, that they’re doing this to “help” the initiative process and “assist” initiative sponsors. They’re lying. They’re trying to achieve surreptitiously what they can’t do honestly — eliminating the initiative process.

On Friday at 8 am in Olympia, there’s a hearing on the bill in the Senate’s State Government committee in the Cherberg Building. I’ll be there to testify against the bill. I’d love it if you can join me.

But since our supporters actually work a living, it’s probably more realistic to ask all of you to send an email to legislators telling them to OPPOSE SENATE BILL 5386 AND ALL OTHER ANTI-INITIATIVE BILLS THIS SESSION.

Please email this, or something like this, to ALL legislators (tell ’em what ya think):

“Legislators, get your dirty, grubby hands off the people’s First Amendment rights. This year’s crop of anti-initiative bills are an abomination. Senate Bill 5386 is the worst anti-initiative bill ever. SB 5386 is the initiative-death-by-delay bill and it deserves special condemnation. Imposing years of mandatory delays before the signature gathering process can even begin is antithetical to the First Amendment which guarantees the citizens the right to petition their government. SB 5386 subjects the citizen initiative process to analysis paralysis and forces the courts, for the first time ever, to rule on initiatives before they even qualify for a vote or get approved by the people. It’s hugely burdensome and will prevent any challenge to controversial laws passed by the Legislature. The existing hurdles for getting initiatives put to a public vote — a massive number of voter signatures — are already working. SB 5386 removes the people’s right to even try to do an initiative. The initiative process is ours, not yours. Leave it alone.”

Subject line: Oppose anti-initiative bills like Senate Bill 5386

Cut and paste these email addresses into the To line of your email — here’s the 98 House members for the 2018 session:

sherry.appleton@leg.wa.gov; andrew.barkis@leg.wa.gov; steve.bergquist@leg.wa.gov; brian.blake@leg.wa.gov; vincent.buys@leg.wa.gov; michelle.caldier@leg.wa.gov; bruce.chandler@leg.wa.gov; mike.chapman@leg.wa.gov; frank.chopp@leg.wa.gov; judy.clibborn@leg.wa.gov; eileen.cody@leg.wa.gov; cary.condotta@leg.wa.gov; richard.debolt@leg.wa.gov; tom.dent@leg.wa.gov; beth.doglio@leg.wa.gov; laurie.dolan@leg.wa.gov; mary.dye@leg.wa.gov; carolyn.eslick@leg.wa.gov; jake.fey@leg.wa.gov; joe.fitzgibbon@leg.wa.gov; noel.frame@leg.wa.gov; roger.goodman@leg.wa.gov; paul.graves@leg.wa.gov; mia.gregerson@leg.wa.gov; dan.griffey@leg.wa.gov; larry.haler@leg.wa.gov; drew.hansen@leg.wa.gov; mark.hargrove@leg.wa.gov; mark.harmsworth@leg.wa.gov; paul.harris@leg.wa.gov; dave.hayes@leg.wa.gov; jeff.holy@leg.wa.gov; zack.hudgins@leg.wa.gov; morgan.irwin@leg.wa.gov; bill.jenkin@leg.wa.gov; laurie.jinkins@leg.wa.gov; norm.johnson@leg.wa.gov; ruth.kagi@leg.wa.gov; christine.kilduff@leg.wa.gov; steve.kirby@leg.wa.gov; brad.klippert@leg.wa.gov; shelley.kloba@leg.wa.gov; vicki.kraft@leg.wa.gov; joel.kretz@leg.wa.gov; dan.kristiansen@leg.wa.gov; john.lovick@leg.wa.gov; kristine.lytton@leg.wa.gov; drew.macewen@leg.wa.gov; nicole.macri@leg.wa.gov; matt.manweller@leg.wa.gov; jacquelin.maycumber@leg.wa.gov; joan.mcbride@leg.wa.gov; gina.mccabe@leg.wa.gov; bob.mccaslin@leg.wa.gov; joyce.mcdonald@leg.wa.gov; jeff.morris@leg.wa.gov; dick.muri@leg.wa.gov; terry.nealey@leg.wa.gov; ed.orcutt@leg.wa.gov; timm.ormsby@leg.wa.gov; lillian.ortiz-self@leg.wa.gov; tina.orwall@leg.wa.gov; mike.pellicciotti@leg.wa.gov; strom.peterson@leg.wa.gov; eric.pettigrew@leg.wa.gov; liz.pike@leg.wa.gov; gerry.pollet@leg.wa.gov; kristine.reeves@leg.wa.gov; marcus.riccelli@leg.wa.gov; june.robinson@leg.wa.gov; jay.rodne@leg.wa.gov; cindy.ryu@leg.wa.gov; sharontomiko.santos@leg.wa.gov; david.sawyer@leg.wa.gov; joe.schmick@leg.wa.gov; mike.sells@leg.wa.gov; tana.senn@leg.wa.gov; matt.shea@leg.wa.gov; vandana.slatter@leg.wa.gov; norma.smith@leg.wa.gov; larry.springer@leg.wa.gov; melanie.stambaugh@leg.wa.gov; derek.stanford@leg.wa.gov; mike.steele@leg.wa.gov; drew.stokesbary@leg.wa.gov; monica.stonier@leg.wa.gov; pat.sullivan@leg.wa.gov; gael.tarleton@leg.wa.gov; david.taylor@leg.wa.gov; steve.tharinger@leg.wa.gov; javier.valdez@leg.wa.gov; luanne.vanwerven@leg.wa.gov; brandon.vick@leg.wa.gov; mike.volz@leg.wa.gov; jim.walsh@leg.wa.gov; jt.wilcox@leg.wa.gov; sharon.wylie@leg.wa.gov; jesse.young@leg.wa.gov; tim_eyman@comcast.net

Send a separate email for the Senate (here’s the 49 senators for the 2018 session):

jan.angel@leg.wa.gov; barbara.bailey@leg.wa.gov; michael.baumgartner@leg.wa.gov; randi.becker@leg.wa.gov; andy.billig@leg.wa.gov; john.braun@leg.wa.gov; sharon.brown@leg.wa.gov; reuven.carlyle@leg.wa.gov; maralyn.chase@leg.wa.gov; annette.cleveland@leg.wa.gov; steve.conway@leg.wa.gov; j.darneille@leg.wa.gov; jeannie.darneille@leg.wa.gov; manka.dhingra@leg.wa.gov; doug.ericksen@leg.wa.gov; joe.fain@leg.wa.gov; phil.fortunato@leg.wa.gov; david.frockt@leg.wa.gov; bob.hasegawa@leg.wa.gov; brad.hawkins@leg.wa.gov; steve.hobbs@leg.wa.gov; jim.honeyford@leg.wa.gov; sam.hunt@leg.wa.gov; karen.keiser@leg.wa.gov; curtis.king@leg.wa.gov; patty.kuderer@leg.wa.gov; marko.liias@leg.wa.gov; john.mccoy@leg.wa.gov; mark.miloscia@leg.wa.gov; mark.mullet@leg.wa.gov; sharon.nelson@leg.wa.gov; steve.oban@leg.wa.gov; mike.padden@leg.wa.gov; guy.palumbo@leg.wa.gov; jamie.pedersen@leg.wa.gov; kevin.ranker@leg.wa.gov; ann.rivers@leg.wa.gov; christine.rolfes@leg.wa.gov; rebecca.saldana@leg.wa.gov; mark.schoesler@leg.wa.gov; timothy.sheldon@leg.wa.gov; shelly.short@leg.wa.gov; dean.takko@leg.wa.gov; kevin.vandewege@leg.wa.gov; keith.wagoner@leg.wa.gov; maureen.walsh@leg.wa.gov; judy.warnick@leg.wa.gov; lisa.wellman@leg.wa.gov; lynda.wilson@leg.wa.gov; hans.zeiger@leg.wa.gov; cyrus.habib@ltgov.wa.gov; lt.gov@ltgov.wa.gov; tim_eyman@comcast.net

Sending these 2 emails will really help — BUT IT’S ONLY EFFECTIVE IF WE ALL DO IT.

After 20 years of fighting for taxpayers, we’ve learned that the most effective way to fight the Democrats’ tax-hiking schemes is by taking our case directly to the people. That’s why we’re moving full steam ahead with We Don’t Want An Income Tax.

Jack, Mike, and I are committed to protecting taxpayers. But we can’t do it alone. We need everyone’s help.