Washington State currently prohibits public funds being used directly or indirectly for lobbying, yet there are a multitude of exceptions within the government regardless. This bill proposes tieing up the loose ends and issuing penalties to those who continue such actions.
"Citizens should not be forced to use their hard-earned taxpayer dollars to fund lobbyists they may have to compete against. It is the intent of the legislature to reaffirm and strengthen lobbying prohibition in current law. It directs that lobbying and informational activities are to be done by the officials in charge of the agency instead of hiring lobbyists to engage in such activities," the bill reads.
"This is the 2nd year I have introduced this. Myself and the Freedom Foundation did a joint op-ed 2 years ago for the Seattle times and based on the Freedom Foundation's research, the state has spent millions of tax payers money, lobbying for more tax payer money," said Rep Matt Shea, the primary sponsor of the bill.
Shea believes this is a non-partisan issue and that most citizens are opposed to state agencies using public funds to influence the legislature to protect government agencies inefficiencies.
Despite the fact that Washington's government rejected Shea's previous legislation asking them to stop using public cash to get more public cash for itself, he is hopeful that the legislation can gain momentum with the help of citizens and grass roots activisism.
Supporters of this legislation are encouraged to contact Washington Representatives and ask them to sponsor HB 1093.
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