Washingtonians Narrow Ballot Initiatives to Three

A common topic of discussion in Olympia throughout Washington State’s 2011 Legislative Session was leaving major budget decisions to voters.

This would be done by either putting a revenue package on the November ballot to help pay for some of the severe cuts being made; putting tax exemptions on the November ballot; or changing the two-thirds requirement so it did not apply to removing tax exemptions.

The latest news from the Secretary of State’s office is that just three initiatives will “likely appear” on the November ballot. None of the three deal with a revenue package, or tax exemptions or two-thirds requirements. All three are being run by business, labor, or perpetual initiative sponsor Tim Eyman. 

Would require the Washington State Legislature, not the Transportation Commission, to set tolls and direct that toll revenues are to be used for operation or maintenance of that project. The initiative would call for ending tolls on a project when construction is paid off, and requiring tolls to stay at the same price all day rather than rising and falling with traffic as they do on Route 167’s toll lanes. This initiative is being lead by Tim Eyman.

Would close state liquor stores and sell their assets, including the liquor distribution center. Retail stores with less than 10,000 square feet would not qualify. The measure is backed by Costco, other grocers and restaurants. 

Would require background checks and training for long-term care workers and providers. If this sounds familiar, it is; voters approved this in 2008 but the Legislature suspended it to save $30 million. This initiative is sponsored financially by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

The Secretary of State’s office began sampling signatures for validation last week and said all checks should be completed by the end of the first week in August.

A few highly publicized proposals failed to bring in enough signatures, including a marijuana legalization proposal (I-1149) and another to make it harder for illegal immigrants to gain access to taxpayer services (I-1122).

Posted in Advocacy News, Business Solutions.