(UPDATE 3/7: IT PASSED! A big thank you to everyone who helped move the Senate, and a huge thank you to Representative Cyrus Habib, who made this bill happen, and to startup attorney Joe Wallin, who inspired it into being.)
(UPDATE 3/7: The bill is on the Senate’s “Order for Consideration”, which should see a vote within the next hour. You can watch today’s Senate proceedings live on TVW.com)
(UPDATE 3/6: The bill is on the Senate calendar, http://app.leg.wa.gov/far/Senate/Calendar/Report?id=1170, but it either gets put to a vote tomorrow, or starts from scratch next year. You can help. Friday, March 7th, please call the following four Senator’s offices, and tell them to bring this bill to a vote:
- Joe Fain - (360) 786-7692
- Andy Hill - (360) 786-7672
- Steve Litzow - (360) 786-7641
- Rodney Tom - (360) 786-7694
Friday is the last day when the Senate can vote on this bill. It passed unanimously out of the House committee, and again unanimously out of the Senate committee. It has bipartisan support. The only hold up are the Senate majority leaders who get to choose what to vote on, and what bill die without a vote. Let’s not let this important bill be one of those.).
Nearly two years after Washington D.C. passed the JOBS Act, which legalized crowdfunding of startup fund raising, the law goes unused, awaiting a final set of regulations from the SEC.
With no end to that process in sight, we here in Washington State say it is time to make crowdfunding into a reality. Luckily, securities are regulated by the States, and as such it is possible for Washington State’s Legislature to pass a law which makes crowdfunding legal within Washington State.
Such a law is halfway through the process of being passed. HB 2023, a.k.a. The Washington Jobs Act, unanimously passed the House last week, and is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate on Tuesday, February 25th.
This law will allow any Washington State company to raise up to $1,000,000 per year from Washington State residents. Any resident will be able to invest at least $2,000, with that amount rising to 5% or 10% of a resident’s income or net worth.
No longer will entrepreneurs be limited to raising money from “accredited” investors!
1- Write your Senator. Visit http://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/ and write to your State Senator. Your message can be as simple as:
I support HB 2023, the Washington Jobs Act. Please help ensure it comes to vote and passes the Senate during this session.
2- Fill the Room. The bill will be discussed within the Senate’s “Financial Institutions, Housing & Insurance” committee on Tuesday, February 25th at 1:30pm in Olympia. Rm 2, J.A. Cherberg Building. Please RSVP so we know you are coming.
Show your support by coming to the hearing, and signing in as an advocate for the bill. Filling up the hearing room with supporters will show how much crowdfunding is wanted, and will send a clear message to the Senators that they should get behind this bill.
The way the system works in Olympia, either this bill passes the Senate in March, before the end of this session, or we wait a year until the legislature is back in session, and we hope that Habib, Ryu, et al are interested in trying to get the bill passed again, from scratch, starting once again in the House.
This is just a huge opportunity to not just get this bill turned into a law here in Washington, but to also send a message to that other Washington that “We the People” want the opportunity to invest in startups.
Full text of the bill: 2023-S.E
House bill report: 2023-S.E HBR APH 14
Official web site: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?bill=2023
Senate Committee web site: http://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/WALEG/bulletins/a6a571
Map of Olympia, WA: Campus map
RSVP at hb2023.eventbrite.com