And, when I say “we,” I mean to include such Republicans as Toby Nixon and Pam Roach. Back in the old days of 2003, when David Goldstein and Tim Eyman were first staring each other down, there was a good idea that didn’t win in the legislature.
Back in 2003 Toby Nixon introduced HB 1014 (in the Senate as SB 5441), which would have shrunk the allowed size of petitions to 8.5×11. Of course it didn’t pass, but it goes to show that a good idea is a good idea on both sides of the aisle. I’ve attached the analysis and there is also audio of the public hearing available at TVW.
Here are a few things I’ve learned:
1. The Secretary of State supported this idea. That’s good to know, because when your idea to change the initiative process is opposed by the chief election official in the state, I don’t know if your idea gets very far.
2. The Association of Washington Business and Assocation of General Contractors both testified against the bills. And no one else. Even Tim Eyman came down to Olympia for his first legislative hearing to support this one. The AWB opposed the bill because it would limit “voter education,” apparently because if you had a smaller piece of paper to sign, you would know less.
3. There was also opposition because of possible fraud from people faking initiatives. This has been brought up before, so it bears following up on. I wonder since Washington has the largest initiative petition in the country whether we have a particularly low occurance of fake petitions.
4. One person spoke at the House hearing saying that there was no history of why the legislature chose the 11×14 dimensions in the 1980s. They simply landed on that size, which is not a good reason for it to stick around.
And, to say it once more, it doesn’t bother me that Republicans tried to get this done in 2003. The very idea of this came to me from a ballot initiative I didn’t support, and tried to convince others not to sign or vote for. It is just a good idea, no matter who agrees with me.