UPDATED ON 1/12/11. Updates last paragraph to change suggested number of voter signatures for sponsors to submit ….
If it’s the second Monday in January, it must mean one thing: Tim Eyman is filing another initiative with the Office of Secretary of State. (Oh, by the way, the Legislature began its 2011 session at noon Monday.)
Eyman wasted little time jumping on Monday’s official kickoff to initiative filing season. Joined by his initiative partners Mike and Jack Fagan, Eyman held a news conference (which included a Perot-like chart tutorial) in the front lobby of the Secretary of State’s office to discuss one of five initiatives that he filed this morning, which would require a two-thirds supermajority for the Legislature to raise taxes. The initiative mirrors Initiative 1053, which was handily approved by Washington voters in November. Eyman says he’s filing this one just in case legislators overturn I-1053 this session, adding that he’ll reintroduce the measure in 2012 if the Legislature doesn’t touch 1053 this year.
The other four initiatives filed by “I-Man” include:
• A “Vehicle Owners’ Bill of Rights” that includes a provision which prohibits any government-imposed motor vehicle charges from taking effect unless voters approve it, plus one that sets traffic camera-imposed fines at $30.
• Protecting the 18th Amendment to the State Constitution (gas taxes and other vehicle-related revenue) by, among other things, prohibiting gas taxes from being diverted to the state General Fund.
• A measure to “protect the initiative process” by making it a crime to interfere with a signature gatherer or person trying to sign an initiative or referendum petition in a variety of ways, as well as “maintaining an intimidating presence” within 25 feet of the signature gatherer or petition signer.
• “Son of 1100,” a modified liquor privatization measure that would allow stores that are at least 9,000 square feet in size to sell liquor.
Six other initiatives were filed with our Elections Division Monday.
After an initiative is filed and the measure’s ballot title and language is finalized with the help of the Code Reviser and Attorney General, the initiative sponsor has until July 8 to submit at least 241,153 valid signatures. Our office recommends at least 320,000 sigs be turned in just to provide a buffer.