July 23rd, 2023
Today marks the formal conclusion of NPI’s more than four year effort to put an end to Tim Eyman’s malicious and harmful push polls, which Eyman deceptively dubbed “advisory votes.” That’s because it’s the effective date of NPI’s legislation that replaces them with truthful, useful fiscal information that’s continuously available to voters on the web and referenced in the printed voter’s pamphlet sent out to millions of Washingtonians each autumn.
Senate Bill 5082, prime sponsored by Senator Patty Kuderer, with a companion offered by Representative Amy Walen in the House, became the law of the land when our clocks changed over from July 22nd to July 23rd, 2023. Its title describes it as “an act relating to encouraging electoral participation and making ballots more meaningful by abolishing advisory votes.”
Its statement of legislative intent eloquently reads as follows:
The legislature finds that making the act of casting a ballot as simple as possible will help promote the free and equal elections guaranteed by Article I, section 19 and Article VI, section 1 of the Washington state Constitution. The legislature recognizes that transparency and fiscal responsibility are important to the people of Washington, and that election administration and ballot design should reflect these long-held values. The legislature further finds that the people rightfully expect items on their ballots to be neutrally and accurately worded. Finally, the legislature finds for the votes that Washingtonians cast to have meaning, the ballot must be limited to candidate elections that give the people the power to choose their representatives or ballot measures that determine what laws and plan of government the state and its localities shall have.
“Washingtonians are done putting up with anti-tax propaganda masquerading as referenda on their statewide ballots,” said Northwest Progressive Institute founder and executive director Andrew Villeneuve. “Thanks to our sorely needed legislation, Tim Eyman’s push polls are a thing of the past. There will be nothing written by Tim Eyman on this year’s statewide ballot, which is a great blessing and huge win for the people of Washington.”
The Code Reviser’s office has already tagged the online copy of the RCWs that Eyman created to facilitate his push poll scheme for removal, with a link to the text of Senate Bill 5082. The next step will be to actually delete the now repealed language so that it’s wiped off our state’s books.
Eyman’s unconstitutional two-thirds scheme to raise taxes is also officially off of our books as of today – it was deleted as part of another bill championed by NPI and adopted by the Legislature concerning defects and omissions. The text of that bill, SSB 5087, can be found here.
“Addressing and repairing the damage caused by Eyman’s past initiatives is an ongoing project,” noted Villeneuve. “But we’re making substantive progress, and there’s more to come as we move into the middle years of the 2020s. We’re also putting in place reforms to the initiative process that will prevent the return of Eyman or any other bad actors like him in the future.”