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A Matter Of Opinion

You can’t tell a ballot issue by its title

Before adjourning, the Washington Legislature passed a referendum measure that would extend the new sales tax on bottled water beyond its scheduled demise on July 1, 2013.  The purpose would be to pay for bonds issued to finance energy-saving modifications to public schools.

It all will show up on the Nov. 2 ballot as R-52.

A fight ensued over the ballot title, however.  Legislative language focused on “job creation through energy efficiency projects.”

The Association for Washington Business weighed in and recommended deleting the reference to jobs while adding one about increasing taxes.

The whole thing wound up before a Thurston County judge, who noted that the bill itself does not create or require the creation of jobs. She approved the following language:

“This bill would authorize bonds to finance construction and repair projects increasing energy efficiency in public schools and higher education buildings, and continue the sales tax on bottled water otherwise expiring in 2013.”

Do these details matter all that much to you, or is it needless nuance?

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