Anti-petition bill — set for a hearing THIS WEDNESDAY, March 11, 9:30 am — to more than double petition signatures for citizen’s charter amendments. (Details below.)
State Senator Jeff Wentworth is sponsoring SB 690 (details below) at the request of the Austin Chamber of Commerce to raise the signatures from 5 to 10% of registered voters and to remove the 20,000 signature cap.
Call Senator Wentworth’s office (512) 463-0125. Ask Sen. Wentworth to pull SB 690 down. The bill is now in the Intergovernmental Government Relations Committee chaired by Senator Royce West. The Vice Chair is Senator Robert Nichols. Also on the committee is Senator Dan Patrick and Senator Mario Gallegos. Details here. Regardless of where you live, please call Wentworth’s office, but make sure if you live in the district of these other Senators call them!
Call their offices and politely request they kill this bad bill. Be sure to read the details below my signature before you call.
If you can get to Austin, join us this Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. at the Capital — in the underground extension, Room E 1.028 for a hearing on SB 690.
512-535-0989 home office
512-383-8484 Austin office
MORE ON SB 690
Here’s the actual bill language.
A quick political history. The Austin Chamber of Commerce has been pushing this bill, we believe as their response to Prop 2, a local citizen effort to stop a $65 million giveaway by the City of Austin for a luxury shopping mall (The Domain), even though Prop 2 failed! In 2007 Senator Kirk Watson carried this bill (minus an amendment in this year’s bill that exempts police and fire). The requirements currently for citizen’s charter amendment petitioning is 5% of registered voters, with a 20,000 signature cap. Wentworth’s SB 690 would raise the signatures to 10% and remove the 20,000 cap. The law already requires 10% for citizen’s municipal initiatives, referenda and recall petitions. (Remember, Texans only have I&R&R at the city level). The reason you don’t see more referenda and initiatives is because petitioning requirements make them near impossible and WAY too expensive. If anything, they should lower those requirements. Bottom line — if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. How many charter amendments have we seen in the last 10 years in Austin? Four. How many have passed? None! There are two charter amendments in Dallas designed to stop a taxpayer funded luxury hotel (sound familiar?). Stop the big developer boys from trying to snuff out any opposition to their developer scams on taxpayers. Defeat SB 690! If you’re a member of the Chamber — cancel your membership and tell them you’re sending your dues to Independent Texans who will keep fighting for voters and local business.