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A Call to Action

Kim Abel, former Port Orchard mayor and current League of Women Voters of Washington Lobby Team Chair, sent this e-mail message out today:
Dear League Members,

Now more than ever we must stop devastating cuts to education, healthcare, environmental programs, and services for the most vulnerable. The future of our state and our economic prosperity depends on it!

This is one of those times YOU can make a difference by showing up in Olympia! This Saturday and this Monday your presence is needed. In light of increasing needs for services and lowered revenues sources hit by this terrible recession, the League needs you to make a difference.

First, this Saturday morning, the House Finance committee is holding a hearing on very important bills to help preserve services and programs important to the League. The hearing addresses Tim Eyman’s Initiative 960 (SB 6843 and SB 6130), and a bill that would close $210 million in tax loopholes, (HB 3176). The hearing is this Saturday, February 13th, at 9:00a.m. in Hearing Room A in the John L. O’Brien Building on the Capitol Campus in Olympia. To ensure a space, please be there by 8:15am. League Lobby Team members will be there to support planned speakers. You can help them by signing in to support the bills above and stay to show your support with your attendance.

Second, whether you can make the Saturday hearing or not, we need YOU to make a difference by attending the Rally to Protect our Future on President’s Day, Monday, February 15th. As part of the Rebuilding Our Economic Future Coalition, the League needs to show that Washington supports a positive, balanced approach to our state budget that includes new revenue, not just cuts.

It’s incredibly important to show up at the Capitol for these two events. It is not our usual phone call or email (although you can still do that, call your Representatives and share your support for the bills being heard tomorrow), but in this sound/sight bite era, it is very important to be present! Please call your League friends, your co-workers, your neighbors and your relatives and fill up a vehicle and join us in Olympia.

Thank you for all that you do,
Kim Abel
LWVWA Lobby Team Chair
(360) 874-6774

2 thoughts on “A Call to Action

  1. In 2007, simple majority for school levies was voted on and approved by the electorate. So was I-960, which set super-majority rules for the State Legislature for tax laws. For our State Legislature to undermine the expressed will of the people, as expressed only two years ago in a statewide vote on I-960, while applauding the voter’s choice for simple majority for schools decision (and using that simple majority to promote that the legislature should only run on a similar simple majority), is a bit of a slap in the face to the electorate.

    Seems to me that there is a tremendous difference between simple majority for educating an electorate on a proposal that has been put forth by elected officials (as in a levy election) and a body of elected officials needing a simple majority to pass legislation that they have the capacity to amend in committee and on the floor prior to a final vote.

    I hope the League of Women Voters will be carrying that message to the Legislature in their advocasy.

    Do we need a tax increase to meet the State’s paramount duty? No. We already have a sufficient revenue stream for that. Do we need a tax increase to fund defensible discretionary spending, I think there are defensible arguments for some of that discretionary spending. But I do not think it is defensible to undermine the vote of the people on I-960.

    I would be appalled if my Republican legislators attempted to repeal simple majority only two years after the people voted for it. I’d be similarly appalled if my Democrat legislators try the same with I-960.

  2. Kathryn,
    The difference between simple majority and I-960 is that simple majority was a referendum to change the Constitution. The legislature, in order to change the Constitution, would have to pass the change by a two-thirds vote of both houses and then put it before the people for a vote. Initiatives, as spelled out in the Constitution, can be eliminated, suspended, or changed after two years. This is the same thing the legislature did to I-732, educator’s COLAs, and I-728, class size reduction. And I-728, if I remember correctly, passed by 72% and I-960 only barely got 51%. The ability of our legislature to change initiatives is what separates us from CA – the only way they can change an initiative is to go back out to the people. And that’s what has gotten CA into the big fiscal problem.
    Just my two cents worth.
    Catherine

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