I was invited by Senator Mike Padden to testify before the House Legislative Committee on Friday, February 9, 2018. There was a hearing on Senate Bill 5989. That bill was set to increase the jurisdiction of Washington Small Claims Courts to address cases with a dollar value up to $10,000.00, from the previous limit of $5,000.00. This legislation had already passed the Senate unanimously and was then in the House for debate.
The experience was exhilarating for me, from commencement of lobbying to live testimony at the Washington State Capitol. It all started when I saw a disturbing pattern. Individuals and small businesses with disputes involving smaller cash controversies could not afford to hire a lawyer, but the value involved was more than the $5,000.00 allowed in Small Claims Court. Those litigants were forced to either let go of or resolve their dispute outside the legal system or give up the money amount in excess of $5,000.00. Since the majority of our State economy depends on small business, that is not fair. I wanted to change that. Unfortunately, the legislative term ended before a vote could be taken on SB 5989, so we’ll have to wait and see whether it gets back on the slate for the 2018/19 term.
When I was a kid putting up hay for local dairy farmers, I never dreamed that one day I would be invited to be part of the legislative process and testify at the Capitol in Olympia. I feel fortunate to be a part of this great land. God bless our democratic republic. God bless America!