You broke the logjam, now we need your lobbying pressure even more

by | Feb 13, 2014

 On Monday, we asked you to pressure the state Senate to bring 4 pro-initiative bills to the floor.  Thanks to your heroic efforts (and some hard work by Senator Don Benton from Vancouver), one of those bills was passed out of Rules (all the Democrats voted against it, but every member of the Majority Coalition Caucus voted for it).

         Senate Bill 5499 provides a simple and helpful reform — it would extend the time to collect initiative signatures, matching the amount of time they allow in Oregon (it would add an extra 10 months, changing it from 5 months to collect signatures to 15 months).  Extending the time would strongly encourage more grassroots, volunteer initiative campaigns.  It would eliminate the need for paid signature gatherers.  The initiative process should be accessible to everyone, not just big monied special interests.  

         So Senator Benton’s bill has cleared a HUGE HURDLE.  Now, we need your lobbying pressure more than ever.

         We need to your help asking/urging/telling/demanding that Senator Joe Fain, the Senate Floor Leader, schedule Senate Bill 5499 for a floor vote.  Let’s have a floor debate on a bill that will make the initiative process better for everyone and watch anti-initiative senators twist themselves into knots arguing against such a common sense reform.     

         This being an election year, this is a great issue to have a vote on.  SB 5499 is brutally difficult to argue against.

          Please cut and paste Senator Fain’s email address into the “To” line of your email: 

          joe.fain@leg.wa.gov

         And cut and paste these email addresses into the “cc” line:  

         rodney.tom@leg.wa.govmark.schoesler@leg.wa.govtimothy.sheldon@leg.wa.govbarbara.bailey@leg.wa.govrandi.becker@leg.wa.govdon.benton@leg.wa.govbruce.dammeier@leg.wa.govdoug.ericksen@leg.wa.govcurtis.king@leg.wa.govlinda.parlette@leg.wa.govkirk.pearson@leg.wa.govann.rivers@leg.wa.govtim_eyman@comcast.net

         Send him an email that says something like this:  “Joe or Senator Fain:  I ask you to please put pro-initiative bill SB 5499 on the Senate floor for a debate and a vote.  I want to know which Senators support the initiative process and which ones don’t.  More time means more grassroots, isn’t that what we all want?”  Your email will be even more persuasive if you tell him what you think about the initiative process and what you like about this bill.  We like it because it makes the initiative process work better for everyone.

         You can also call Senator Joe Fain at 360-786-7692.  Just say “please tell Joe to put SB 5499 on the floor.  It’s a pro-initiative bill that I strongly support.”

Here’s the details on it:  Senator Benton’s bill is Senate Bill 5499 — Extending time to collect initiative signatures — a great bipartisan bill that is co-sponsored by Senator Hasagawa (D-Renton): http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?bill=5499&year=2013 

          We’re moving full steam ahead on the 2/3 Constitutional Amendment Initiative I-1325.  Petitions were mailed out on Friday.  It’s really exciting.

          What do we need RIGHT NOW?  Your financial support.  We need a big war-chest to print up petitions and mail them to hundreds of thousands of voters throughout the state.  We need your help.