SENATE JOINT MEMORIAL 8021
State of Washington 55th Legislature 1998 Regular Session
By Senator West
Read first time 01/21/98. Referred to Committee on Law & Justice.
TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE AND THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, AND TO THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED STATES, IN CONGRESS ASSEMBLED:
We, your Memorialists, the Senate and House of Representatives of the state of Washington, in legislative session assembled, respectfully represent and petition as follows:
WHEREAS, Securities fraud class actions have implications for national securities markets and directly affect interstate commerce; and
WHEREAS, Securities fraud class actions that were traditionally brought in federal court under federal laws are now being brought in state court under state law, thus circumventing the antiabuse provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act; and
WHEREAS, Public companies are reluctant to disclose forward-looking information to investors for fear of being sued in state court under state law; and
WHEREAS, The lack of securities litigation uniform standards harms America's economy, particularly job-creating, growth, and high-technology companies; and
WHEREAS, Individual state legislation has been able to address only a small portion of this problem because securities flow in interstate commerce, and various state legislative schemes offer conflicting standards of liability and cannot give nation-wide predictability and protections to issuers and investors; and
WHEREAS, The securities laws of most states already recognize that nationally traded securities should be protected from conflicting state civil liability standards, and should be exempt from state blue sky registration or qualification requirements;
NOW, THEREFORE, Your Memorialists respectfully pray that reasonable, fair, and balanced federal securities litigation legislation be enacted; that, in enacting such legislation, representatives of the federal legislature cooperate with representatives of the state legislatures to prevent state courts from being improperly utilized to circumvent the goals and principles of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act, including delegating to the federal legislature the power to regulate private securities litigation in state court involving issues of nationally traded securities; and that federal legislation subject all such issuers to uniform national standards for securities class action litigation, maintain the authority of state officials to bring securities enforcement actions, and provide for the removal of securities fraud class actions involving nationally traded securities brought in state court to federal court.
BE IT RESOLVED, That copies of this Memorial be immediately transmitted to the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and each member of Congress from the State of Washington.
--- END ---