Thursday, January 16, 2014

Welcome to initiative season

Posted By on Thu, Jan 16, 2014 at 12:54 PM

click to enlarge Professional initiative submitter Tim Eyman
Professional initiative submitter Tim Eyman

Just because it's an off year doesn't mean you get a break from initiatives, fine Washington voters. Here's a rundown of what's been filed so far:

Initiative king Tim Eyman opened the 2014 initiative filing season with a bang: An initiative that would slash the state sales tax by one percent "unless the legislature refers to the ballot for a vote a constitutional amendment requiring two-thirds legislative approval or voter approval to raise taxes so as to limit tax increases to only those with broader legislative support than a bare majority." (This is an issue Eyman has been hammering on for a while now, and voters have been supportive, but the state Supreme Court has not.) Eyman, with backing from Spokane City Councilman Mike Fagan, has also filed an initiative that would require voter approval for red-light cameras and one that would cap most vehicle licensing fees at $30 annually.

Initiative 1326 is another attempt to mandate labeling of genetically engineered foods in Washington. A similar initiative failed in November. Read more about that issue here.

Initiative 1329, proposed by the statewide group WAmend, would express state support for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution limiting recognition of corporations as people in regards to campaign financing. (A Spokane group announced today it would be joining that effort.)

Four potential versions of initiative language regarding medical marijuana have also been submitted, but have not yet been reviewed by the state Code Reviser, according to the Secretary of State's Office. For the long list of initiatives to the Legislature filed last year, which may come before state lawmakers in this year's session and includes two high-profile dueling gun measures, click here.

Meanwhile, in Spokane, a citizen has filed an initiative (now being reviewed by city legal) that would amend city law to make it illegal to expose "any part of the male or female genitals, or anus, more than one-half of the female breast by area or any part of the areola or nipple of the female breast." The language mirrors an ordinance considered (but rejected) by the Spokane City Council and a similar one passed by the Spokane Valley City Council, both aimed at lingerie coffee stands. Find the full initiative language here.

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About The Author

Heidi Groover

Heidi Groover is a staff writer at the Inlander, where she covers city government and drug policy. On the job, she's spent time with prostitutes, "street kids," marriage equality advocates and the family of a 16-year-old organ donor...