Wash. State House summary of arguments for CIR

Posted by on February 27, 2015 in CIR legislation | 0 comments

Washington HB 1364 to establish a CIR in Washington just got through the appropriations process. There’s no net state cost for running a pilot in 2016 (because of private, non-profit funding being available), and that was noted.

Also, a summary document has been prepared to lay out the arguments heard for and against creating a CIR in Washington State. (Nobody testified against it, so that part’s blank.) What’s encouraging is how effectively the committee staff summarized the testimony that was presented, particularly the research testimony from John Gastil (me) and Mark Smith (U Washington, political science).

The full bill is available online, but I’ve excerpted the highlights here that summarize the testimony:

Citizen panelists are highly satisfied with the process in Oregon. Panels bec
ome confident that they can make informed statements. The CIR process in Oregon has produced factually accurate statements. Two-thirds of Oregonians who read the CIR statements found it helpful….
Surveys indicate that voters’ discontent with initiatives revolves around the sources of information for initiatives. Most think initiative campaigns are misleading, but many have confidence about the information in the voters’ pamphlet….
The panelists in Oregon worked together to provide a service to the people of Oregon, putting personal positions aside, analyzing the information, composing statements of fact
about the initiatives…. The CIR process is an excellent opportunity to edu
cate voters and involve citizens in the process.
It’s encouraging to see that in just a few minutes of testimony, those key points were conveyed.

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