[Sent to the Independent Texans mailling list. --MJ]
Dear Friends & Members:
Anti-petition bill -- set for a hearing THIS WEDNESDAY 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
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.
PO Box 14294
Austin, TX 78761
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, 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! But that
hasn't stopped the Chamber from trying to snuff out any opposition to
their developer scams on Austin taxpayers. Defeat SB 690! If you're
a member of the Chamber -- let 'em have an earful, cancel your
membership and tell them you're sending your dues for
ChangeAustin.org, who will keep fighting for voters and local business.
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