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November 3, 2017

2

Referendum Process Review Work Group Needs Your Input

by contributor
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The referendum provision in the WSBA Bylaws is an important one. A WSBA work group reviewing the process wants to hear from you.

Lawyer pressing virtual chat iconsThe referendum provision in the WSBA Bylaws is an important one — It allows for a vote of the membership on certain actions taken by the Board of Governors. Currently, a member referendum may reverse a final Board action, modify a final Board action, enact a resolution, or amend the WSBA Bylaws.

Because of its critical and nuanced nature, the referendum provision was carved out of the scope of work given to a Bylaws Review Work Group in 2016; instead, the Board of Governors created a separate Referendum Process Review Work Group in May 2017 to specifically tackle this topic.

The group’s work is just getting underway. Members — including four Board of Governor members, four at-large WSBA members, and three former Board of Governor members — are tasked with reviewing the current referendum process and drafting suggested amendments for Board consideration by January 2018. Appropriately enough, one of the work group’s primary responsibilities is soliciting and collecting as much input as possible from WSBA members to provide input for their recommendation.

Toward that end, please email sherryl@wsba.org with your thoughts, ideas, and concerns about the WSBA referendum provision and process.

Learn more:
Referendum Process Review Work Group Charter
Referendum Process Review Work Group Roster

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Nov 3 2017

    I ask readers to weigh the above post against this email I received from Brad Furlong. If Brad Furlong stated, “I HAVE NO PLANS TO REOPEN THE BUDGET OR THE LICENSING FEE,” which are tied to the referendum process, then what will be the value-added result of this group? More rights or less rights? What is the WSBA afraid of by honoring the Bylaws by holding a vote on the dues increase?

    ​From: Brad Furlong
    Date: Sat, Oct 14, 2017 at 7:41 AM
    Subject: Re: I hope you do not feel misled
    To: Inez Ine Petersen
    Cc: Paula Littlewood , “G. Kim Risenmay”

    Ms. Peterson: We feel it is important that our communications are complete, accurate and uniform so as to not misinform our members. That’s why we start with a base message. the governors then add their own thoughts. I did not add any due to lack of time as I was heading out on a family vacation. I encourage the governors to engage with attorneys frequently.

    I have no plans to reopen the budget or the licensing fee. I do plan to see to it that our fees are are spent efficiently on regulatory activities mandated by the Supreme Court and on services that benefit our members.

    if you have concerns about the WSBA budget, please feel free to attend the meetings of our Budget and Audit Committee to learn how and why the WSBA budget is constructed as it is and to contribute your thoughts. if you wish, I can ask someone to let you know when the committee next meets so that you can attend.

    Best wishes,

    Brad Furlong
    Sent from Mobile Device

    Reply
  2. edward hiskes
    Nov 4 2017

    I attended the first meeting of the Referendum Workgroup. At that meeting a WSBA officer suggested that the primary purpose of the group was to cut back on membership referendum rights, by making the procedural requirements for a referendum more burdensome, as by increasing signature requirements, etc. He said the Supreme Court, or at least one of the Justices, did not want to deal with another referendum.

    To this end, one member of the Workgroup, a non-elected “at large” Governor, was pushing the idea that electronic signature gathering should be eliminated. He wants to require that signatures be gathered on paper. But if the goal is to harass and burden referendum proponents, why stop there? Requiring that signatures be engraved upon marine-grade stainless steel ingots would be even more effective.

    Reply

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