Posted on March 26, 2013 at 2:12 PM
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- A Washington state Senate committee has heard testimony on legislation to make it easier for minorities to get elected to local government posts.
The Washington Voting Rights Act, as supporters call it, received a hearing Tuesday in the Senate Government Operations Committee. It would encourage court challenges to cities, counties, school districts and others to push them to switch from at-large to district elections in areas where large minority groups are present.
It passed the state House earlier this month.
Bill proponents say that Washington state's minority groups, and in particular Hispanics, are badly underrepresented at the local level.
Bill critics say the measure is unnecessary and potentially costly.
Republican Sen. Pam Roach of Auburn is the committee chair. She said it was unlikely her committee would advance it.