Tuesday, December 23, 2014

New E-comment Service Debuts At Washington Legislature

For the first time, the Washington legislature has an online form to accept e-comments on pending legislation.

According to their website:

E-Comments is a feature the Legislature is testing during the 2013 Session that lets you send comments on a bill to the members of the Legislature. The first time you comment, you will be asked to set up an account with your e-mail address and a password of your choice. To comment on a bill, you may:
  • Click the button below if you know the bill number, or
  • Look up a bill on the Bill Information page to get to a bill history page then click the link near the top of the page.
Legislators and their staff will not be able to respond to individual comments. If you wish a response, contact your legislators directly by phone, e-mail, letter, or in person, or by calling the Legislative Hotline at 800-562-6000.
Need inspiration? You might want to comment on some of these bills, recently highlighted in the Seattle Times:
Abortion: Senate Bill 5156 would prohibit a provider from performing an abortion on a minor without at least 48 hours advance notice to the minor’s parent or guardian. 
Wolves: Senate Bill 5187 would allow livestock owners to kill a “mammalian predator,” such as a wolf, that attacks livestock. 
Motorcycles: Senate Bill 5143 would end mandatory helmet use for motorcycle riders age 18 or over.
To try out the new comment service, click here.

And if all this civic participation piques your curiousity, you can find out more about the Washington state legislative process in Gallagher Law Library's recently updated research guide, The Legislative Process.

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