February 20, 2015, Seattle, WA – The Washington State Senate recently passed legislation authored by Senator Cyrus Habib that would allow citizens to submit legislative testimony remotely via the internet. In a unanimous vote, Senate Bill 5267 passed the state senate and will now head to the Washington House of Representatives.
Rather than delivering testimony in person, the bill would allow citizens to use household recording devices such as phones and webcams – from wherever they are – to record and upload legislative testimony. Once uploaded, the testimony could then be shared at committee hearings or reviewed by lawmakers at any time.
“Most people are too busy with their day-to-day lives to come down and testify” explained Senator Habib. “They have jobs, school, family or a disability that might prevent them from appearing in Olympia. But that doesn’t mean their voice shouldn’t be heard.”
The bill, garnering tremendous bipartisan support, marks an important step to what Senator Habib hopes will bring the Washington State legislature into the 21st century.
Cyrus Habib is the first Iranian American to serve in a state legislature. He was recently named one of the “40 Under 40 Political Rising Stars of 2014” by the Washington Post and was named one of “12 State Legislators to Watch in 2014” by Governing Magazine.
Habib was raised in Bellevue, Washington where at the age of 8 he lost his eyesight to a rare form of childhood cancer. He attended Columbia University, Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar and Yale Law School where he was editor of the law review. Prior to being elected Habib practiced law with the Seattle firm of Perkins Coie – the region’s largest private law firm – specializing in meeting the legal needs of high-tech start-ups.
Click here to read more about Senator Habib’s legislation.