OLYMPIA—The House of Representatives passed legislation sponsored by Sen. Patty Kuderer (D-Bellevue) to remove the state’s requirement for advisory votes on revenue legislation, eliminating the ballot-cluttering remnant of an unconstitutional initiative that cost the state and local governments millions each election cycle.
“Advisory votes are non-binding referendums that do not carry any legal weight. They have no real impact on policymaking. These votes only pollute our ballots with anti-tax propaganda specifically designed to instill distrust in government—and they do it on our most fundamental sanctuary of democracy, the ballot,” Kuderer said.
Senate Bill 5082 will liberate our ballots from these nonbinding ballot measures that interrupt the act of voting, saving taxpayers millions of dollars every year in ballot design, printing and tabulation costs.
“Advisory votes undermine the democratic process,” Kuderer said. “Everything on our ballot should have meaning. Advisory votes violate that principal. They give the illusion of public input and engagement, but in truth they are nothing more than push polls designed to influence opinion, not to measure it.”
Kuderer’s bill replaces advisory votes with useful, accurate information about the legislature’s fiscal decisions readily available via QR code, coupled with an online database, adding a layer of accountability.
“This means people can better understand where their money is going and how it will to be spent. This is far more transparent and more accurate than advisory votes, which are neither advisory nor actual votes,” Kuderer said.
The bill, previously passed by the Senate in February, now goes to Gov. Jay Inslee’s desk for his signature.