Archive for Election

Carbon tax initiative has enough signatures to head to Legislature

By | December 2, 2015 | 0 Comments

An initiative that would impose a new tax on carbon emissions while also cutting the state’s sales tax appears to be headed to the Legislature in January.

Initiative 732 adds a $25-per-ton tax on fossil fuels. To offset the higher gas prices that consumers will pay, the initiative proposes cutting the state’s sales tax by 1 cent per dollar. It would also lower the business and occupation tax on manufacturing and fund tax rebates for certain low-income workers.

Supporters of the proposal say it will reduce air pollution without changing the overall amount of taxes paid by individuals. Carbon Washington, the campaign behind the initiative, announced Wednesday it has collected 330,000 signatures, surpassing the 246,000 signatures needed to send an initiative to the Legislature.

The group intends to continue collecting signatures until Dec. 30, when it will deliver the initiative to the Secretary of State’s office, according to the group’s founder, Yoram Bauman. The additional signatures allow for room for error.

If the signatures are validated, the initiative first goes to the state Legislature. It can adopt the initiative as proposed, or send the measure to the ballot for the November 2016 general election. It can also approve an alternative to the initiative, which would place both the original and the alternative on the ballot.

Categories: Election, Energy, Environment

Eyman files new anti-tax ballot measure

By | November 18, 2015 | 0 Comments

EymaninitiativeInitiative activist Tim Eyman filed a new anti-tax measure with the Secretary of State’s office on Wednesday that he says is aimed at Gov. Jay Inslee and 58 Democratic legislators who do not support a supermajority requirement of the Legislature to raise taxes.

The new ballot measure requires tax increases to expire after one year, unless the increase was approved by two-thirds of the Legislature.

The petition he intends to circulate has pictures of dozens of Democratic lawmakers who represent districts where voters supported a two-thirds requirement.

“These Democratic politicians refuse to let the people vote,” Eyman said.

The effort comes on the heels of another Eyman effort, Initiative 1366, which passed in November with 52 percent of the vote. The initiative is being challenged in the courts. It would cut the state sales tax unless the Legislature passes a constitutional amendment requiring new taxes be approved by a two-thirds majority of lawmakers or voters.

After filing the initiative, Eyman took his press conference to the lobby of the governor’s office, where he got into a back-and-forth with the governor’s spokesman, David Postman. Eyman asked why the governor is not allowing people to vote. Postman replied that people can vote, but the initiative will end up in court with the other Eyman-backed initiative.

Read the full text of the initiative here.


Categories: Election

Initiatives 1366, 1401 winning in early results; Republicans look to gain seat in House

By | November 4, 2015 | 0 Comments

Here’s a round-up of early election results from Nov. 3rd:

Initiative 1366 is winning, 54 percent to 46 percent. The measure, backed by initiative activist Tim Eyman, would decrease the state’s 6.5 percent sales tax to 5.5 percent unless the Legislature makes it harder to raise taxes. To avoid the estimated $8 billion loss in sales tax, the Legislature must approve a constitutional amendment before April 15 requiring a two-thirds vote to increase taxes. Currently, raising taxes requires a simple majority vote of the Legislature.

Initiative 1401 is winning, 71 percent to 29 percent. The measure aims to fight poaching by outlawing the sale or purchase of items made from ten endangered animals, such as elephant ivory, shark fins and tiger products. The penalty for breaking the law ranges from $1,000 to $10,000 in fines and potentially up to five years in jail.

30th Legislative District: Republican Teri Hickel is ahead with 54 percent of the vote, while Democrat Carol Gregory has 46 percent. If Hickel maintains the lead, Democrats will have only a two-seat majority in the House, 50-48. The Senate is controlled by Republicans. The 30th district includes Federal Way, Auburn and Des Moines.

9th Legislative District: Republican Mary Dye has a 65 percent lead over fellow Republican Richard Lathim, who has 35 percent. Dye was appointed to the seat in May following the resignation of Rep. Susan Fagan, who left during an ethics probe.

Results will be updated at the Secretary of State’s website here.


Categories: Election

On ‘The Impact:’ A detailed look at Initiative 1401

By | October 22, 2015 | 0 Comments

This week’s edition of “The Impact” looks at the details of Initiative 1401, which would make it illegal to sell, purchase or trade certain animal species threatened with extinction.

The initiative aims to fight poaching by outlawing products from ten endangered animals, including elephant ivory, shark fins and tiger products. The penalty for breaking the law ranges from $1,000 to $14,000 in fines and potentially up to five years in jail.

The initiative has exemptions for musical instruments, inheritances and educational donations if the item is at least 100 years old there is documentation to prove it.

Supporters say it will help reduce the slaughter of elephants by reducing the market for ivory products. Opponents say the exemptions are too narrow, and it will put legal antique dealers out of business.

Here’s a look at images from the show, which is posted online here.

Categories: Election, TVW

U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert will not run for governor

By | October 16, 2015 | 0 Comments

Republican Congressman Dave Reichert announced on Friday he will not run for governor in 2016. Instead, he plans to seek re-election to Congress to work on “some of the most important issues facing this nation and Washington state, including tax reform and free trade.”

Reichert was seen as the primary potential challenger against Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee, who is seeking a second term.

In a written statement, Reichert said he was “extremely disappointed in the decisions coming out of the governor’s office,” but felt that he could better serve the state in “another Washington.” The former King County sheriff has served six terms in the 8th Congressional District.

Other potential GOP challengers state Senators Andy Hill and Steve Litzow both declined to run for governor earlier this year.

Republican Port of Seattle Commissioner Bill Bryant declared his candidacy in May. He released a statement on Friday saying his campaign “now moves into a new phase” focused on challenges in education, wages and salmon runs.

Categories: Election

On ‘The Impact:’ Hear from the 30th legislative district candidates

By | October 14, 2015 | 0 Comments
Host Anita Kissee with Carol Gregory, top, and Teri Hickel, bottom.

Host Anita Kissee with Carol Gregory, top, and Teri Hickel, bottom.

On this week’s edition of “The Impact,” host Anita Kissee interviews the two candidates vying for the 30th Legislative District seat in the state House. The seat became vacant last year following the death of Democratic Rep. Roger Freeman.

Former teacher Carol Gregory, a Democrat, was appointed to the seat following Freeman’s death and is campaigning to keep it. Her challenger is Republican Teri Hickel, the former executive director of a youth leadership program in Federal Way.

The race is drawing high interest because Democrats currently hold a slim two-seat majority in the House. The mostly Republican Majority Coalition Caucus holds the Senate.

Also on the show — catch up with members of the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee on their multi-city “listening tour” as they hear ideas from the public about ways to fund basic education.

The committee is focusing on how to reduce the reliance on local school levies — see the background materials shown at the meeting here. TVW also produced a 16-minute short documentary showing how an overreliance on levies impacts schools and teachers.

“The Impact” airs Wednesday, Oct. 14 at 7 & 10 p.m.

Categories: Election, TVW

Lawmakers announce departure from Olympia

By | September 8, 2015 | 0 Comments

Two Democrats announced their departure from the Legislature this month, while a senior Republican is seeking a second elected office.

Starting today, Rep. Ross Hunter takes over as the director of the state Department of Early Learning, which received an influx of new money from this year’s state budget amid a push for more early learning and preschool programs.

Hunter was the lead Democratic budget writer in the House, chairing the House Appropriations Committee. He is a 13-year veteran of the Legislature.

Hunter will discuss his new role, which pays $150,000 a year, with “Inside Olympia” host Austin Jenkins on Thursday, Sept. 10 at 7 & 10 p.m. on TVW.

Another veteran Democrat, Sen. Brian Hatfield of Raymond, is leaving the state Senate for Gov. Jay Inslee‘s office, where he will be the sector lead for rural economic development.

Hatfield, who has served in the Legislature for 19 years in both the House and Senate, was most recently the ranking member on the Senate Agricultural & Rural Economic Development committee.

Meanwhile, Republican Sen. Pam Roach is seeking a second elected position on the Pierce County Council. Washington law doesn’t ban elected officials from holding more than one office, and Roach told The News Tribune she is not ruling out holding both positions.

Roach has represented the 31st district in the Senate for 25 years.

Categories: Election

Committee to consider moving up the date of the presidential primary

By | August 7, 2015 | 0 Comments

Secretary of State Kim Wyman wants to move up the date of Washington’s presidential primary to March 8, 2016, one week after “Super Tuesday” when a dozen states hold primaries or caucuses.

The state’s current presidential primary is held on the fourth Tuesday in May.

Wyman is convening a Presidential Primary Committee next week to consider the change. The committee includes representatives from the Democratic and Republican parties, as well as leaders of the four legislative caucuses.

Any change in the primary date must be made before Oct. 1 in the year before the primary and requires six votes of the committee.

TVW will live webcast the meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 11 at 1:30 p.m. at this link. It will be broadcast on television at a later time.

Wyman requested a bill during the 2015 legislative session that would have moved the primary to the second Tuesday in March and required political parties to use the primary results when allocating delegates. The bill passed out of the Senate, but did not get a vote in the House.

Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles announces run for King County Council

By | April 8, 2015 | 0 Comments

Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, a 23-year veteran in the state legislature, announced Wednesday she will run for King County Council.

She is running for the seat being vacated by King County Councilman Larry Phillips, a former State Representative, who announced that he will not run for re-election this year.

Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-Seattle)

Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-Seattle)

Kohl-Welles, who will keep her 36th district Senate seat while she runs, said she got encouragement to run for Phillips’ seat after he announced his plans to leave.

“I love it here. I love it in Olympia. I love statewide issues, but I’ve been here a long time,” she told TVW in a phone interview. “I can work on the same issues, being at home and being able to work on the same things on the local level.”

Along with being the ranking member of the Senate Higher Education Committee, and sits on the Senate Ways & Means and Law and Justice committees, Kohl-Welles has put her name behind bills including reforming medical marijuana laws and legislation to stop human trafficking.

Kohl-Welles came to Olympia succeeding Phillips in a political office. Kohl-Welles became a State Representative in 1991 to fill Phillips’ seat in the House, which he left for the King County Council. Kohl-Welles then became a State Senator in 1994.

Categories: Election

Bill would add fiscal impact to initiative ballot titles

By | March 18, 2015 | 0 Comments

Voters would see the cost of initiatives  — and how the measure might lead to cuts in state programs and possible tax increases — on their ballots, under a bill heard Wednesday in a state House committee.

Senate Bill 5715 would require ballot titles for initiatives to include a statement of fiscal impact if the cost is $25 million or more. Ballots would include a sentence saying the initiative is “unfunded” and “other state spending may need to be reduced or taxes increased to implement to the proposal.”

Right now, fiscal impact statements for initiatives are included in the voter’s pamphlet. This bill would require the statement be placed directly on ballots, just above “yes” and “no” boxes.

The push comes after voters in November approved a measure to decrease class sizes statewide without a funding source, at a cost of $2 billion. The obligation is in addition to the state Supreme Court ruling that lawmakers must fully fund education.

Supporters, including prime sponsor Auburn Republican Sen. Joe Fain, say the bill lets voters know the true cost of the measures they’re considering.

“Voters deserve the full accounting of initiatives being proposed, whether they result in cuts to state government or investments,” League of Education Voters’ Frank Ordway told the committee.

But opponents, like initiative promoter Tim Eyman, say a fiscal statement in the title will unfairly influence voters against the measure. “For 101 years, the Attorney General has been required to write a neutral ballot title,” Eyman said. “This bill really does violate that neutrality law by injecting personal prejudice with a bias, vote-suppressing warning label on certain initiatives.”

Under current law, initiative sponsors can challenge language used in a ballot title in court if they think the title is unfair. The bill doesn’t address whether the fiscal impact is subject to judicial review, but under the current version of the bill, the fiscal statement would be added after the deadline to challenge the ballot title.

The bill passed 41-8 in the state Senate. No action was taken in the House State Government during Wednesday’s hearing. It has so far not been scheduled for a vote.