Change of government bill clears the State House of Representatives

The Washington State House of Representatives has passed a bill that would amend state laws to allow for a Bainbridge change of government vote in May.

The bill passed with overwhelming support yesterday, by a margin of 95 to 2. It is the fourth bill to pass in the 2009 legislative session.

Today, the measure moved on to the Senate where it was immediately fast-tracked to the Government Operations & Elections committee due to an emergency clause that was included in the bill's language.

Bainbridge Rep. Christine Rolfes called the bill's passage "remarkable," and said that it will be important to maintain momentum in the Senate.

Under current state law, change-of-government votes can only be held during November general elections of an odd-numbered year, which would coincide with Bainbridge's mayoral elections in November 2009.

The change of government initiative has been taken up by the city council after a citizen's petition for a change of government was certified by the Kitsap County Auditor in October 2008.

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