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Eye On Olympia

Initiatives: the primer:

We'll be writing a lot about ballot measures in the coming weeks and months on this site. So here's a short review of the major items on the fall ballot:

I-330: Would limit pain-and-suffering awards in medical malpractice lawsuits to $350,000, with some exceptions, as well as limiting the fees paid out to patients' attorneys.

I-336: Would institute a "three strikes, you're out" policy for doctors, allowing revocation of physicians' licenses after three "incidents of medical malpractice" within a decade, unless there are mitigating circumstances. Would also set up an insurance fund -- paid for by health care providers -- to help pay out large jury awards. And it would limit the number of expert witnesses in a malpractice case.

I-900: Tax foe Tim Eyman's much-touted "900-pound gorilla," this measure would require the state auditor to conduct performance audits of state and local governments, checking for efficiency and effectiveness of each agency's operations.

I-901: Would ban indoor smoking in public places -- as well as smoking within 25 feet of doorways and other ventilation openings (windows, ducts, etc). The director of the local health department, however, could approve a smaller smoke-free zone around entrances and vents.

I-912: Would repeal the state gas tax increase, which totals 9.5 cents by 2008.

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