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Archive for the ‘Washington State Petitions’ Category

Washington State Patrol On Apparent Fishing Expedition

March 21, 2011 1 comment

ALERT FROM NRA-ILA

 

Please Contact Your Legislators Today!

The National Rifle Association has learned that the Washington State Patrol (WSP) has sent a letter, apparently to every firearms dealer in the state of Washington, as part of an investigation into “a missing/stolen AR-15.”  The WSP has requested an incredible amount of information regarding dealer’s sales and acquisitions of AR-15’s and lower receivers over the last nine months.  They want names, dates of births, addresses and more… from the past nine months!  A statewide search through a mountain of information for ONE missing/stolen AR-15?

It seems preposterous to the NRA that the WSP would conceivably request this massive amount of sensitive data, in a search for ONE AR-15!  It is the NRA’s view that there must be more to this story, a lot more.  The NRA has placed two phone calls into the WSP today in search of clarifying information but has yet to receive any response on the matter.  The NRA has also followed up with a letter of inquiry which notes that dealers are under no obligation to comply with the request.

We will keep our members apprised of any information that is forthcoming from the WSP.  In the meantime, NRA suggests that you contact your State Legislators and let them know about this far-reaching and overly-broad request of firearm dealers by the state law enforcement agency.  Ask your legislators to contact the WSP in an effort to find out what is going on in this case.  You may contact your state Representative or state Senator by clicking here. If you don’t know who your elected officials are you may look them up here.

Also, please contact Governor Chris Gregoire, let her know about the requests currently being asked of Washington’s firearms dealers by the WSP and urge her to find out what is going on in this case. You can contact the Governor by clicking here.

PRESS RELEASE: WASHINGTON STATE SECOND AMENDMENT RALLY


PRESS  RELEASE

___________________________________________________________ 

For Immediate Release: April 21, 2010 

 

WASHINGTON STATE

SECOND AMENDMENT RALLY

Washington State Capitol   Olympia, Washington

Saturday, April 24, 2010

1200 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

(Rain or Shine)

 

         Several Washington State Second Amendment Advocates, along with www.opencarry.org have announced the Washington State Second Amendment Rally in conjunction with several Nationwide Second Amendment events scheduled during the spring and summer of 2010. This is a non-violent, non-partisan effort and is open to EVERYONE who supports our Second Amendment Rights.  This is a Family event. Weather permitting; we encourage participants to bring a picnic lunch and a blanket or chairs. We’ll have free prizes and entertainment along with comprehensive information on current issues and Washington State & Federal Legislation.

 

         The Washington State Rally will be held Saturday, April 24 from 12pm until 4pm at the State Capitol in Olympia, Washington.  This event will assemble at Tivoli Fountain.  For further updated information and a map of the location visit General Administration parking page. 

 

You can listen to Mr. Beal’s interview today on KIRO 97.3 Dori Monson Show with Kirby Wilbur by clicking HERE 

 

“The prohibition is general. No clause in the Constitution could by any rule of construction be conceived to give to Congress a power to disarm the people. Such a flagitious attempt could only be made under some general pretense by a state legislature. But if in any blind pursuit of inordinate power, either should attempt it, this amendment may be appealed to as a restraint on both.” [William Rawle, A View of the Constitution 125-6 (2nd ed. 1829)

Questions and Interview Requests May Be Sent To: Mr.James Beal at burtb71@yahoo.com

This event is not affiliated with other Second Amendment “March” efforts.

“…Tax hikes and anti-gun politics…”


The Washington Legislature appears to have reached a decision to have citizens here dispose of their income in the form of additional taxes……..

SB 6813 – WA Senate bill would merge WDFW, Parks under Natural Resources

February 24, 2010 Leave a comment

Evergreen State hunters and fishermen have historically been treated with a mix of indifference, disdain and outright contempt by the State Legislature and the governor’s office over the past quarter-century.

When thousands of sportsmen rallied on the Capitol steps in the 1980s – brought there by the now-inactive Sportsmen’s Rights Coalition – they were essentially given lip service. The old Department of Game was merged with the Department of Fisheries to create the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, an indication that the agency would – and many complain has – gradually drifted away from the primary mission for which it was created, to serve hunters and anglers and to conserve, protect and enhance fish and game populations. Many sportsmen so hate this agency and the direction that it has taken that they refer to it as the Department of NO Fish and NO Wildlife; an agency that is less interested in enhancing deer and elk herds than it is in bringing back wolves and giving them a big hug.

Abolishes the department of fish and wildlife and transfers its powers, duties, and functions to the department of natural resources.

The advent of a divisive and many believe disastrous hunting management structure called “Resource Allocation” has been blamed for reducing the number of Washington hunters by some 100,000 over the past quarter-century. Under this scenario, hunters must choose whether they will hunt big game with a bow, modern firearm (including handgun), or muzzleloader. Washington’s “strategy” limits hunters, and essentially keeps user groups at each other’s throats, vying against one another for more time afield for their particular interest group.

The once-thriving pheasant release program is a shadow of its former self, and non-existent in eastern Washington where, a generation ago, pheasant hunting rivaled that found in some Midwest states. The only “new” program that has benefited Washington hunters in the past 25 years has been the wild turkey project spearheaded by now-retired game biologist Dan Blatt. This was a roaring success thanks to Blatt’s savvy about putting different turkey sub-species into the proper habitats similar to their native habitats in the states from whence brood stock was brought years ago.

So why not change the agency? This state’s hunters are not of one mind; many enjoy the reduced numbers of people in the field during fall hunting seasons. They don’t see the “big picture,” however and neither do younger hunters (and anglers), who lack the historical perspective and never experienced “the good old days” of hunting and fishing here. Their shrinking numbers translates to shrinking political clout, and ultimately, that’s going to mean reduced to non-existent management of this state’s game populations.

Right now, there is legislation (Senate Bill 6813) lurking in the Senate Natural Resources Committee that, if adopted and signed by Gov. Christine Gregoire – as she most lilely would with the excuse of trimming the state budget (it won’t, but the public doesn’t understand that) – it would merge the WDFW with the State Parks Department under the Department of Natural Resources.

Want to talk about a disaster? This is the kind of scenario that the late Irwin Allen would have put on film as The Towering Bureaucracy. If hunters think they have little influence now, wait until that mega-agency becomes a reality.

An e-mail alert now being circulated by pro-gun and hunting communities warns, “Every fishing, hunting and related program and every dedicated fund is at risk for termination or reduction.” This alert, originating with the Hunters Heritage Council, notes that “The Senate budget released (Monday) zeroes out the WDFW budget, reduces the agency operating budget by $10.5 million and transfers all WDFW functions to DNR. No proof has been presented that the state ‘saves’ $10.5 million in operating costs by these actions.”

 

“Transfers, administratively, the duties of the governor appointed state parks and recreation commission and the fish and wildlife commission to the department of natural resources.”

The e-mail alert also warns, “Creating another super agency while doing harm to the already existing programs willingly funded by hunters and fishers is not responsible wildlife management.”

There are 22 members of the Senate Ways & Means Committee, and they need to hear from hunters and anglers concerned about the future of the resources.

Perhaps instead of merging the WDFW, it ought to be broken up and restored to two separate agencies: Fisheries, which would be tasked solely with managing for commercial and tribal fisheries, and the Department of Fish and Game, whose job it should be to put ten million more trout into our lakes and streams, produce two to five million more steelhead, increase the deer herds by 50,000 and add 10,000 more elk, and that’s just for starters.

Hunters and anglers are being encouraged to contact each member of the Senate Committee and tell them “Do NOT merge WDFW and DNR.”

Senator Margarita Prentice (Chair) – prentice.margarita@leg.wa.gov

Senator Karen Fraser (Vice-Chair, Capital Budget) – fraser.karen@leg.wa.gov

Senator Rodney Tom (Vice Chair, Operating Budget – author of the merger effort) – tom.rodney@leg.wa.gov

Senator Joseph Zarelli (Ranking Minority) – zarelli.joseph@leg.wa.gov

Senator Dale Brandland – brandland.dale@leg.wa.gov

Senator Mike Carrell – carrell.michael@leg.wa.gov

Senator Darlene Fairley – fairley.darlene@leg.wa.gov

Senator Mike Hewitt – hewitt.mike@leg.wa.gov

Senator Steve Hobbs – hobbs.steve@leg.wa.gov

Senator Jim Honeyford – honeyford.jim@leg.wa.gov

Senator Karen Keiser – keiser.karen@leg.wa.gov

Senator Adam Kline – kline.adam@leg.wa.gov

Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles – kohl-welles.jeanne@leg.wa.gov

Senator Joe McDermott – mcdermott.joe@leg.wa.gov

Senator Ed Murray – murray.edward@leg.wa.gov

Senator Eric Oemig – oemig.eric@leg.wa.gov

Senator Linda Evans Parlette – parlette.linda@leg.wa.gov

Senator Cheryl Pflug – pflug.cheryl@leg.wa.gov

Senator Craig Pridemore – pridemore.craig@leg.wa.gov

Senator Debbie Regala – regala.debbie@leg.wa.gov

Senator Phil Rockefeller – rockefeller.phil@leg.wa.gov

Senator Mark Schoesler – schoesler.mark@leg.wa.gov

Outdoorsmen and women can also contact their own senator here.

Original Article Can Be Found Here: http://www.examiner.com/x-4525-Seattle-Gun-Rights-Examiner~y2010m2d24-WA-Senate-bill-would-merge-WDFW-Parks-under-Natural-Resources?cid=examiner-email#

 

 

Letter From Tim Eyman to Governor Gargoyle re: I 960 & ESSB 6130

February 24, 2010 Leave a comment

February 24, 2010

To:  Governor Chris Gregoire (she can be emailed here:  govcommoffice@gov.wa.gov)

From:  Tim Eyman, ph: 425-493-9127, email: tim_eyman@comcast.net, http://www.VotersWantMoreChoices.com

cc:  Our thousands of supporters throughout the state, all media outlets — reporters, columnists, editorial writers, and others in newspapers, radio, and TV — and House & Senate members

RE:  Eyman to Gregoire:  throw some crumbs to the peasants, veto the repeal of I-960′s advisory vote on tax increases, 2 pages in voters pamphlet with legislators tax votes and costs

        90% of Initiative 960 is/was the 2/3′s vote requirement for tax increases – that was the big enchilada.  You’re going to sign ESSB 6130 at 4 pm today and suspend that requirement for this session and next session and will sign into law BILLIONS OF DOLLARS in higher taxes. 

        That really infuriates a lot of people. 

        But I-960 also addresses a very real problem in Olympia — everything’s an emergency.  The emergency clause makes bills ‘referendum proof’ and that’s what’s going to be slapped on every tax increase bill you sign this session.  The people’s constitutionally guaranteed right to referendum will be taken away on every one of them.

        I-960 anticipated this unfair situation and proposed a modest remedy:  rather than stopping the indiscriminate overuse of the emergency clause, it simply says for any tax increase bill where the people’s right to referendum is taken away, at least give the voters a chance to express their opinion (with a non-binding advisory vote) and give the voters 2 pages in the voters pamphlet listing legislators’ tax votes, their contact information, and the cost of the tax hikes.

        In other words, I-960 provided transparency and a voice for the people.

        Chris, you will take away the 2/3′s vote requirement at 4 pm today (I’ll see you there) but throw some crumbs to the peasants:  veto the repeal of I-960′s advisory vote on tax increases and the 2 pages in voters pamphlet. 

        This morning’s Seattle Times asks for the same thing — Gov. Gregoire:  Use veto to keep transparency provisions of Initiative 960http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/editorials/2011165339_edit24veto.html

        I’m asking you for this small mercy even as you take away what voters worked so hard to pass (3 times).

        This reminds me of a scene from Troy, one of my favorite movies.  Right after Achilles (played by Brad Pitt) kills Hector in a duel and drags his body back to his camp, Hector’s father Priias, the King of Troy, sneaks into Achilles’ tent and confronts him:

Priias:  “You have taken everything from me, my eldest son, heir to my throne, defender of my kingdom.  I cannot change what happened, it is the will of the gods, but give me this small mercy, I loved my boy from the moment he opened his eyes to the moment you closed them.  Let me wash his body, let me say the prayers, let me place two coins on his eyes for the Boat Man.”

Achilles responds:  “If I let you walk out of here, if I let you take him, it doesn’t change anything:  you’re still my enemy in the morning.”

Priias answers:  “You’re still my enemy tonight … but even enemies can show respect.”

         For the past six years, it is clear that you and the voters have battled over taxes.  And with regard to this particular battle, you will succeed at getting rid of 90% of I-960 – you will take away the 2/3′s vote requirement for tax increases, the jewel of I-960′s crown.

         But if you have any honor, any honor at all, you will grant the voters this small victory, proving that “even enemies can show respect.”

SB 6754 & SB 6449 Public Hearing Scheduled for TUESDAY, 2/23

February 18, 2010 Leave a comment

They’ve scheduled public hearings for these two pieces of…..”Legislation”.  TUESDAY, Feb. 23, 2010 at 1:30.  If you can make it down to Olympia for this, please do.  Please write and call your Representatives.

State Government & Tribal Affairs

2/23/10 1:30 pm House Full Committee House Hearing Rm D John L. O’Brien Building Olympia, WA

ESB 6754 – Making the names and addresses of persons signing initiative or referendum petitions public records.

SB 6754http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?year=2010&bill=6754 SB 6754

http://apps.leg.wa.gov/documents/billdocs/2009-10/Pdf/Bill%20Reports/Senate/6754%20SBA%20GO%2010.pdf

ESSB 6449 – Regarding signature gatherers for petitions. Other Senate bills previously heard in committee. 

WA SB 6449: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?year=2010&bill=6449

SB 6130 PASSED.

February 18, 2010 Leave a comment

Yes………..  They Did.

Is Washington State legislature  working overtime to live up to the democrats label of being the “tax and spend” party”? Perhaps they should take a lesson from the new Governor of NJ who just  placed a spending freeze on the state. Governor Christie said New Jersey is on the verge of bankruptcy and declared a fiscal emergency, announcing drastic cuts. 

 “Revisit its rich union contracts,” Christie said. “And they may also have to consider service reductions or fare increases.”  Yet Governor Gregoire  refuses  to revisit union contracts and will be giving union member their raises, while making drastic cuts to health care, poor, sick and elderly. 

6130 passed the house 51-47.

Here’s the breakdown:

Voting Yea: Representatives Appleton, Blake, Carlyle, Chase, Clibborn, Cody, Conway, Darneille, Dickerson, Dunshee, Ericks, Flannigan, Goodman, Green, Haigh, Hasegawa, Hudgins, Hunt, Hunter, Jacks, Kagi, Kenney, Kessler, Kirby, Liias, Linville, Maxwell, McCoy, Moeller, Morris, Nelson, O’Brien, Ormsby, Orwall, Pedersen, Pettigrew, Quall, Roberts, Rolfes, Santos, Sells, Simpson, Springer, Sullivan, Takko, Upthegrove, Van De Wege, White, Williams, Wood, and Mr. Speaker

Voting Nay: Representatives Alexander, Anderson, Angel, Armstrong, Bailey, Campbell, Chandler, Condotta, Crouse, Dammeier, DeBolt, Driscoll, Eddy, Ericksen, Fagan, Finn, Haler, Herrera, Hinkle, Hope, Hurst, Johnson, Kelley, Klippert, Kretz, Kristiansen, McCune, Miloscia, Morrell, Nealey, Orcutt, Parker, Pearson, Priest, Probst, Roach, Rodne, Ross, Schmick, Seaquist, Shea, Short, Smith, Taylor, Wallace, Walsh, and Warnick

More on SB 6449…”Conniving, Machiavellian, sneaky…”

February 17, 2010 Leave a comment

Thursday, February 18, 2010

To: Our thousands of supporters throughout the state (cc’d to all media outlets — reporters, columnists, editorial writers, and others in newspapers, radio, and TV — House & Senate members, and the Governor)

From: Tim Eyman, Jack Fagan, & Mike Fagan, ph: 425-493-9127, email: tim_eyman@comcast.net, http://www.VotersWantMoreChoices.com

RE: Conniving, Machiavellian, sneaky:

newly amended version of anti-initiative bill SB 6449 — perfectly valid voter signatures WILL NEVER BE COUNTED This is as sleazy, conniving and Machiavellian as it gets.

Chairman Sam Hunt’s original bill required ANYONE, whether paid or unpaid, who collects voter signatures MUST personally write their name, signature, home address, city, state, zip code and date on the back of each petition — if they don’t, then the signatures MUST BE REJECTED BY THE SECRETARY OF STATE.

This negation of valid voter signatures drew monstrous protests from the ACLU, newspapers, and citizens. So to supposedly appease critics, he changed the bill so that it became optional to fill it out the back — and with petitions not filled out on the back, the Secretary of State would be required to check every signature on that page — all signatures would still count.

This change earned enough votes to get out of committee. But when the bill moved to Appropriations, the Secretary of State’s surrogate, Katie Blinn, told them that with it being optional to fill out the back, it would likely result in all signatures having to be individually verified, costing $140,000 per initiative.

SO THE SECRETARY OF STATE TOLD APPROPRIATIONS TO CHANGE THE BILL TO PROHIBIT INITIATIVE SPONSORS FROM TURNING IN PETITIONS UNLESS THE BACK WAS FILLED OUT EVEN IF VALID VOTER SIGNATURES WERE ON THE FRONT (see bottom of page 4 of the staff report: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/documents/billdocs/2009-10/Pdf/Bill%20Reports/House/2614%20HBR%20APPG%2010.pdf).

So, the original bill required valid voter signatures be rejected by the Secretary of State — now Senate Bill 6449 requires valid voter signatures be thrown in the garbage by initiative sponsors (scan down to Section 13 of the bill: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/documents/billdocs/2009-10/Pdf/Bills/Senate%20Bills/6449-S.E.pdf).

Either way, the result is the same – under SB 6449, valid voter signatures WILL NEVER BE COUNTED. Once the Secretary of State accepts petitions, the valid voter signatures on the petitions WILL COUNT (because of court rulings). So they’ve come up with a sneaky, conniving, Machiavellian scheme to ensure they never receive them — by requiring initiative sponsors to never turn them in in the first place.

And just to add a bureaucratic nightmare to the process, Senate Bill 6449 requires initiative sponsors to fill out an affidavit for every petition sheet attesting that we’ve verified that the back of the petition is filled out. 17,000-20,000 petition sheets are turned in so that means initiative sponsors must complete 17,000-20,000 affidavits.

And then there’s the body cavity search on citizens who collect signatures. Senate Bill 6449 requires registration, licensing, photo headshots, fingerprinting, criminal background checks, names, personal signatures, & home addresses of citizens who collect signatures.

The Democrats and their union backers REALLY want to identity and target ANYONE who collects signatures on petitions — it’s what they’ve always wanted. This appears on their own website: “If you see a signature gatherer, we suggest you ask signature gatherers if they are being paid, find out their names and take their pictures (alone). ‘We would like to identify as many as possible.’” “Keep an eye out. The best way to beat this is at the signature gathering stage. Please let us know if you see those paid signature hunters in your area and let them know in no uncertain terms what their job will do to your job! Every signature we stop is one more Eyman has to pay for.” “If you see a signature gatherer, call us. We want to do all we can to stop them.” Washington State Council of County and City Employees (AFSCME – AFL-CIO).

Here’s more with pictures: http://www.voterswantmorechoices.com/harassment.asp

Here’s the 2 main reasons this anti-initiative bill is bad — (1) THE SYSTEM IS WORKING (2) OPPONENTS WANT TO STOP IT FROM WORKING:

http://soundpolitics.com/archives/013699.html

Now that this anti-initiative bill has a full head of legislative steam, we are hopeful that other newspaper editorial boards, writers, and columnists will weigh in on this issue. Our state Constitution makes it clear that the Legislature can only pass bills that facilitate the initiative process, they cannot pass bills that frustrate it.

SB 6449 certainly do not make the process easier, it makes it harder. It should be rejected.

Regards, Tim Eyman, Jack Fagan, & Mike Fagan, ph: 425-493-9127, email: tim_eyman@comcast.net, http://www.VotersWantMoreChoices.com

Affidavit of Danielle M, including photos, documenting harassment while gathering signatures: http://www.voterswantmorechoices.com/harassment.asp

Walla Walla Union Bulletin editorial: “Legislators are also considering … imposing new rules – with added paperwork – for those collecting signatures. This is the wrong approach. It has the potential to muffle free speech. Legislators pushing the so-called reforms to the initiative process contend they are doing so to curb fraud. But, to this point, there is no evidence of fraud or serious irregularities with the signatures or the way they have been gathered. The public is in control, and that’s the way it should stay. Lawmakers shouldn’t tinker with the initiative process – it’s not broken.”

BELLINGHAM HERALD EDITORIAL BOARD: Legislature must not attempt to obstruct initiative process: Every year, it seems, some legislators decide to attack our state’s initiative process. As always, we deplore those attacks. The initiative process is a constitutional right in Washington, spelled out very clearly in our state constitution. There really has to be something better for the Legislature to spend its time on.This bill, like others suggested in previous years, seems like the Legislature trying to do anything it can to limit the right of citizens to create initiatives. That is a serious mistake, one that we urge legislators to reject.

The Centralia Chronicle editorial: “Signature Process Isn’t Broken, Doesn’t Need Democrats’ Fix”: “Legislative Democrats trying to make it tougher to get initiatives and referendums on the ballot have introduced other measures, as well, including requiring signature gatherers … to personally sign each petition page so they can be found if there is any allegation of fraud. But, again, there have been no credible fraud allegations. These other measures amount mostly to harassment and to that extent would further impinge on free speech and petition rights.”

EDITORIAL BOARD OF THE SPOKESMAN REVIEW: Reject bill imposing rules on signature gatherers: it “unreasonably attempts to avoid the mess by making it harder for citizens to use the initiative and referendum recourse that has been available to them for nearly a century. … That is cumbersome if not onerous – all to discourage citizens from writing their own laws or repealing those passed by the Legislature. … Ultimately, individual voters still choose whether to sign a petition and how to vote. The Legislature is facing a plan that would restrict those choices. The plan needs to be rejected.”

COLUMBIAN EDITORIAL BOARD: Blocking democracy: Two misguided solutions to nonexistent problems are clattering around the Legislature. They should be ignored and discounted for precisely what they are: blatant attempts to obstruct public participation in government. (Legislators) want to erect frivolous hoops through which signature gathers would have to jump. We’re more interested in democracy than gymnastics. J. Anderson (73 years old) who testified before the house committee: “There are a lot of wonderful people who live in the state of Washington but there are a lot of real weirdos out there too. I feel it’s utterly callous disregard for our safety and our protection that if you are gonna force us into doing that. And at my age, and many of the other women that work with us are in their 60′s and even the ones in their 30′s and that men that are out there are all in danger. I’ve been spit on. I’ve had French Fries thrown at me, which doesn’t hurt but it’s not very nice. I’ve had people follow me to my car. I’ve had notes left on my vehicles. I just feel like the world is crawling with sex offenders and I’m going to sit here with a label on me saying who my name is and who I’m working for and they can pull this up on the internet somewhere. And there’s identity thieves out there. I think you haven’t thought this thing through, Mr. McDermott. I really don’t think you’ve got me in mind. I just don’t think you’re working for me. And I don’t think you’re working for a lot of other people that are out there doing their First Amendment rights. And I beg you that there’s nothing wrong — this is grassroots, it’s grassroots at its finest — no matter how much money and all we keep talking about is all this money — it’s grassroots. I come from Iowa where (interrupted by Chairman Hunt) … Just let us have our initiative process.” McDermott responds: “I’m not taking it away.” Ms. Anderson answers softly: “You’re making it hard.” Gary Jacobsen (an elderly gentleman) also testified against the bill: “I’ve never been harassed by the public as I’m being harassed by the Legislature that I helped put into office. What possible threat do I pose that I need be licensed, regulated and leaned on by the government. I’m singled out because I might possibly bring a conflicting point of view to the ballot. I find this to be discriminatory and outrageous. Shame on those who put another burden on a hardworking taxpayer doing a legitimate job. Just please leave me alone.”

Here’s the Latest on SB 6130 – I 960

February 17, 2010 Leave a comment

Here’s what I find this morning.  I watched this debate until about 10:00 last night.   They’re going to convene at 10:00 today to continue the debate and vote later today.  Please make a trip down there if at all possible.  If you can’t make it to Olympia, you can watch the live debate and vote here: http://www.tvw.org/index.cfm?bhcp=1   You can also find it broadcast on TVW Station from your local cable provider. 

Wash. House has debate on suspension of I-960

By RACHEL LA CORTE | Associated Press Writer

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The state House had a contentious debate Tuesday night over the temporary suspension of tax-limiting Initiative 960, with opposition Republicans maneuvering to delay a vote.

Related Stories & Links

Washington state Legislature (weblink)

Making full use of their limited power, the GOP minority asked to indefinitely postpone action on the bill, a move that allowed each legislator up to 10 minutes of speech time and led to about six hours of debate. The House currently has 61 Democrats and 37 Republicans, and the motion ultimately failed.

“This bill completely guts taxpayer protection in this state,” said Rep. Jaime Herrera, R-Camas. “I think there is no greater thing we can do than to respect the will of the people.”

The House is expected to return to the floor at 10 a.m. Wednesday for more debate before voting on the measure that would suspend I-960, which was approved by voters in 2007.

The initiative requires that two-thirds of the Legislature approve any tax increase – a significant hurdle compared to the simple majority approval needed for other bills.

The Senate already has endorsed a suspension of that rule until July 2011, when the next two-year budget cycle begins. Majority Democrats said they needed to make that move to patch a budget deficit now pegged at $2.8 billion.

Democratic lawmakers plan to increase taxes and cut spending to balance the deficit, but they don’t have enough members to get a two-thirds vote in either the Senate or House.

“I believe that my voters want me to have a balanced view of how I look at our budget and our responsibilities here,” said Rep. Ross Hunter, D-Medina.

Lawmakers can amend initiatives with a simple majority vote after they’ve been on the books for two years, making this the first legislative session that Democrats can suspend I-960.

But critics of the plan said it would be a mistake to raise taxes while Washingtonians try to recover from the worst recession in decades.

“The bill before us would raise taxes during one of the worst economic downturns of our state,” said Rep. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale.

As it stands, the I-960 suspension bill would still allow e-mail notifications to be sent to the public about proposed tax increases, including 10-year cost projections of the measures. But the rest of the measure would be suspended, including a requirement for a nonbinding advisory vote by the public on taxes passed by the Legislature.

Four Republican amendments were rejected Tuesday night, including one that would restore the advisory vote requirement.

The changes to I-960 must clear both chambers and be signed into law by Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire before lawmakers can move ahead with tax-raising votes. Gregoire is expected to approve the Legislature’s plan.

The state Senate would have to vote on the bill one more time before it could be sent to Gregoire for final approval.

The I-960 suspension is Senate Bill 6130.

SB 6130 ACTION CALL TONIGHT! OLYMPIA, WA

February 16, 2010 Leave a comment

Our legislators are at it again. They are trying to push through legislation against the will of the people in the dark of night. Tuesday February 16th sometime after 4 pm they plan to try once again to gut I-960.  Once again they are planning to ram through SB6130. We need your help.  Please get this out to everyone you know ASAP!

http://www.washingtonvotes.org/Legislation.aspx?ID=92872

If there is any way you can, be at the capitol before 5:00pm. AFL-CIO is scheduled to be there @ 5:00pm. DO NOT LET THEM BE THERE UNCOUNTERED!

If you can’t be there call these 12 house members of the state of Washington are on the fence as of 4:45pm Monday for repealing I-960. Please call/e-mail/contact!

360-786-7806   19    Takko, Dean <takko.dean@leg.wa.gov> (Pacific)

360-786-7904   24    Kessler, Lynn <kessler.lynn@leg.wa.gov> (Port Angeles)

360-786-7968   25    Morrell, Dawn <morrell.dawn@leg.wa.gov> (Puyallup)

360-786-7802   26    Seaquist, Larry <seaquist.larry@leg.wa.gov> (Bremerton)

360-786-7890   28    Kelley, Troy <kelley.troy@leg.wa.gov> (Fort Lewis)

360-786-7866   31   Hurst, Christopher <hurst.christopher@leg.wa.gov> (Enumclaw)

360-786-7902   35   Finn, Fred <finn.fred@leg.wa.gov> (Shelton)

360-786-7894   41    Maxwell, Marcie <maxwell.marcie@leg.wa.gov> (Mercer Island/Newcastle)

360-786-7858   47   Sullivan, Pat <sullivan.pat@leg.wa.gov> (Covington)

360-786-7848   48   Eddy, Deborah <eddy.deborah@leg.wa.gov> (Redmond)

360-786-7924   49   Jacks, Jim <jacks.jim@leg.wa.gov> (Vancouver)

360-786-7962   6   Driscoll, John <driscoll.john@leg.wa.gov> (Spokane) You already turned him around. Will vote no. Encourage him and let him know you back him

360-786-7976  17   Wallace, Deb <wallace.deb@leg.wa.gov> (East Vancouver)

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