OLYMPIA – A public hearing was held on Wednesday for Senate Joint Resolution 8001, which calls on Congress to address unrestricted campaign spending under the U.S. Supreme Court decision called Citizens United. 

Citizens United effectively means those with the most money can speak the loudest in elections,” said the sponsor of the measure, Sen. Bob Hasegawa, D-Seattle. “People have rallied around this state and country to tell Congress to overturn this devastating court decision because our democracy should not be for sale. Less than two months ago, voters in Washington approved I-735, making us the 18th state to call for a constitutional amendment overturning Citizens’ United. This resolution makes us in lock-step with the people, and sends their message to Washington DC.”

The measure requests Congress to amend the constitution and give the legislative branch the authority to regulate campaign contributions, distinguish between natural persons and artificial entities – often referred to as corporate personhood – and require timely disclosure of campaign contributions. Legislatures in Vermont and California have approved similar resolutions.

Similar measures have been introduced in previous sessions but have failed to receive a vote in the Republican-controlled Senate.