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WA initiative season underway

WA initiative season underway

As WA lawmakers prepare to open their session on Monday, the people’s process of writing laws by initiative got its start Friday. By mid-afternoon, 24 proposals were filed with the Secretary of State’s Elections Division, including 13 from initiative activist Tim Eyman. His measures deal with making it tougher to raise taxes in Olympia, bringing back $30 car tabs, express lane tolls, and other issues. Kurt Ludden of Seattle filed seven initiatives, dealing with medical marijuana, and the initiative process. …

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I-1366, I-1401 certified, heading to fall ballot

I-1366, I-1401 certified, heading to fall ballot

Assistant Secretary of State Mark Neary certifies I-1366 and I-1401. Two initiatives, one dealing with taxes and the other with endangered animals, officially have the green light to go onto the General Election ballot this fall. Assistant Secretary of State Mark Neary Thursday certified that Initiative 1366 and I-1401 both have enough valid signatures to be placed on the statewide ballot. I-1366, sponsored by initiative activist Tim Eyman, would make it harder for the Legislature to raise taxes. I-1401, backed…

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FAQs about those tax advisory votes

FAQs about those tax advisory votes

We’re getting lots of questions about a relatively new form of ballot measure in Washington state — the statewide tax advisory vote.   Here are some FAQs to help shed some light: Q. What are these Advisory Votes 3 through 7 that I see in my Voters’ Pamphlet? A.  These are nonbinding measures that let voters say whether they think the Legislature should “repeal” or “maintain” revenue-generating bills that lawmakers passed this year.  The Legislature used the $200 million from these…

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WA lawmakers head into third session

WA lawmakers head into third session

Washington legislators are headed into an unusual second special session, still hoping to bridge stark partisan differences and avoid a June 30 deadline for averting a partial government shutdown. Dejected and weary lawmakers were closing out their 30-day special session Tuesday with little to show for their labors.  Gov. Jay Inslee, a freshman Democrat who once served in the state House himself, called a special session to convene at 9 a.m. on Wednesday. At a Capitol news conference, Inslee sought…

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Eyman files ‘Super Bowl’ of anti-tax initiatives

Eyman files ‘Super Bowl’ of anti-tax initiatives

UPDATE: Note that last paragraph recasts the original language… Initiative activist Tim Eyman has filed what he called the “Super Bowl” version of his long line of ballot propositions aimed at blocking taxes and requiring a supermajority to pass tax hikes in Olympia. It will have to be a hurry-up offense for Eyman, since there is little more than two months before his July 5 deadline to submit well over 300,000 petition signatures to secure a place on the fall…

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WA lawmakers & new gov gird for grueling session

WA lawmakers & new gov gird for grueling session

Washington lawmakers and incoming Gov. Jay Inslee are arriving in Olympia for a grueling budget-year legislative session that begins at high noon on Monday. The 63rd Legislature and the newly elected governor face a big budget shortfall — perhaps $2 billion, counting pay raises, rising cost of services for a growing and graying population and a state Supreme Court order to invest more in the state’s public schools.  Democrat Inslee and a number of legislators say they will try to…

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Light at end of tunnel for lawmakers

Light at end of tunnel for lawmakers

Time runs out Tuesday on Washington’s 30-day special session of the Legislature – and the Democratic leaders believe they’ve pretty well nailed down agreement on an $800 million tax package and a budget rewrite. Rank-and-file lawmakers have been back in their home districts for nearly all of the special session that Governor Gregoire called on March 15.  House Speaker Frank Chopp of Seattle, Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown of Spokane and budget and finance negotiators, along with the governor and…

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The midnight hour: Olympia faces overtime session

The midnight hour: Olympia faces overtime session

Time sure flies when you’re having fun … and Washington lawmakers just can’t get enough of the Capitol.  The 60 days allotted for election-year sessions expire at midnight Thursday evening, and by now the House and Senate leaders are facing up to the prospect of going into overtime. The two chambers, both with big Democratic majorities, are still at odds over the size and composition of a tax package. The Senate’s tax package is over $890 million and includes a…

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Pollster: WA conflicted over best budget, tax solution

Pollster: WA conflicted over best budget, tax solution

Washington lawmakers, struggling with a $2.8 billion budget gap, generally acknowledge that deep spending cuts will be required, but they’re still sparring over whether to also rely heavily on tax hikes.  Not much guidance from a new statewide poll that shows similar conflicting views among the electorate. Although a sizable chunk (37 percent) wouldn’t support new taxes, 63 percent said it would at least be part of the solution.  The latter voters gave a mixed reply when asked whether the…

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House tax plan: cats and dogs

House tax plan: cats and dogs

House Democrats have weighed into the tax debate in Olympia, offering an assortment of tax hikes – called “cats and dogs” in Capitol-speak – rather than a package that is anchored by a state sales tax increase. The $858 million package is closer in approach to Governor Gregoire than the Senate Democrats. The Democratic governor proposed a $605 million mix of taxes, including a $1-a-pack tax on cigarettes, a tax on pop and candy and a higher hazardous materials tax on petroleum…

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