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WASHINGTON STATE INITIATIVES 

Breaking down some of the issues you'll get to vote on this year

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I-732 (carbon tax)

The measure would create a new tax on carbon emissions, a pollutant caused by the burning of fossil fuels that's believed to contribute to climate change. If it passes, Washington would become the first state to tax carbon, following Australia and the Canadian province of British Columbia. The measure, intended to be revenue neutral, would reduce the state sales tax by 1 percent and provide a rebate of up to $1,500 a year for low-income households. Businesses would also see a reduction in the business and occupation tax. Some opponents, like Kaiser Aluminum, argue it would adversely affect manufacturing jobs, while some progressive groups wish it would raise new funds to invest in clean energy technology. (JAKE THOMAS)

I-1433 (minimum wage)

Voters will decide whether Washington state's minimum wage should increase incrementally from the current $9.47 an hour to $13.50 an hour by January 2020. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. In the past 18 years, the minimum wage in Washington has increased less than $4. If I-1433 passes, it will jump $4 in four years, and the unprecedented hike makes it difficult for economists to predict a potential impact on the state's economy. The initiative also would require most businesses to give their workers paid sick leave based on the number of hours they work. (MITCH RYALS)

I-1491 (gun access)

Should family, friends and the police have the authority to ask a judge to temporarily suspend a person's access to firearms? That's the question raised by I-1491, which would create what are known as "Extreme Risk Protection Orders." Modeled after no-contact orders, Extreme Risk Protection Orders bar an individual from owning or buying a gun if a judge determines he or she poses a significant risk of self-harm or danger to others. The initiative requires concerned family and friends to show a judge why a person's access to guns should be restricted. Reasons could include threats of violence, mental health issues and domestic violence, among others. The initiative allows judges to make a decision after a hearing involving both parties, or in extreme and immediate circumstances, the judge could issue the order without first hearing from the gun owner. Polls indicate about 70 percent of voters in Washington state approve of Extreme Risk Protection Orders. (MITCH RYALS)

I-1501 (identity theft)

Seniors and people with disabilities can be the most susceptible to financial crimes. This initiative aims to help by increasing criminal penalties for identity theft and consumer fraud targeting "vulnerable people" to the level of a class B felony. It would also prohibit the release of public records that disclose "sensitive personal information," such as names, addresses and phone numbers of vulnerable people and their in-home caregivers. That worries opponents of the initiative — namely the Freedom Foundation, a conservative think tank which says the initiative is an attempt to stop it from accessing the Service Employees International Union's list of unionized caregivers, because the Freedom Foundation contacts caregivers to tell them union dues are elective, and has urged them to stop paying fees to the union. Newspaper editorial boards — including the [Tacoma] News Tribune and Seattle Times — have called the initiative a "Trojan horse" designed to weaken the state's Public Records Act. (WILSON CRISCIONE)

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