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Spin Control

Posts tagged: I-1107

Liquor initiatives could take us into the known unknown

Getting the state out of the liquor business is such a popular idea that voters have two chances to do it in the Nov. 2 election.
Based on their ballot titles, Initiatives 1100 and 1105 may seem close enough that anyone in favor of state-operated liquor stores could reasonably vote no on both.
One can make an argument for voting yes on one but not the other. Costco card holders, for example, might be more fond of I-1100, on the theory that if their favorite discount house spent millions pushing the intitiative, they may see some great deals on a case of booze.
But anyone who thinks the state should stick to core services – things like schools, prisons, roads and drawing numbers for the Lottery – may decide to fill in the “yes” ovals on both to double their chances of buying their liquor from someone not on the state payroll.
Then what happens? Suddenly, after decades of talking about getting the state out of the liquor business, we have not one but two laws ordering it out.
The short answer is – and we reporters love this because it’s like the political writers’ full employment act – no one knows.
Seriously. No. One. Knows…

Elway Poll: Tax initiatives ahead, but not winning

Three initiatives that would change the state’s tax policies — instituting an income tax, dropping a series of consumer taxes or requiring supermajorities to pass new taxes — have more support than opposition among voters, a new poll by Elway Research Inc. indicates.

But none of the three has a majority of voters saying they’d vote yes if they were casting ballots right now.

One of the proposals, which would require any new tax imposed by the state to get a two-thirds majority in both houses of the Legislature, seems to have lost support over the summer, pollster H. Stuart Elway said.

Three other initiative to change the way the state handles liquor sales or the compensation system for injured workers also have less than half the voters polled saying they will definitely or probably vote yes.

“I think the initiatives are in trouble,” Elway said. “You bette be well over 50 percent before the heavy campaign season starts, because support tends to erode” when the opposition starts its advertising push.

I-1053, which would require a two-thirds majority in the Legislature to pass any tax increase, has lost support from a similar survey in June. The current poll has 48 percent of voters saying they would definitely or probably vote yes on that measure; in June, 65 percent said they would probably or definitely vote yes. The opposition stayed relatively the same in both polls, with about a fourth of voters in both surveys saying they’d probably or definitely vote no. The real shift was in undecided voters, which jumpted to about one in four voters now, up from about one in 10 voters in June.

Also of note: Many of the initiatives have significant numbers of voters who are undecided on those initiatives. That could be because some are confusing — for example, there are two separate proposals to end the state monopoly on liquor store sales, although in slightly different ways.

“One old adage is that confused voters tend to vote  no on ballot measures,” Elway said.

For details on the Elway Poll for initiatives, click here to go inside the blog.

6th initiative makes ballot, would cut taxes

OLYMPIA — The sixth initiative to the people qualified for the Nov. 2 ballot this afternoon. Initiative 1107 asks voters to repeal taxes the Legislature levied earlier this year on soda, candy, bottled water and some processed foods.

That means voters will have two chances to undo things the Legislature did: repeal some of the taxes the Democrats passed as a temporary measure to ease the state’s budget problems, and reinstate a two-thirds majority for any tax increase (I-1053).

And they’ll have four chances to do things the Legislature has been asked to do several times, but  has never had the votes to accomplish: end state-run liquor stores (I-1100 and I-1105); add private insurance to the workers compensation system (I-1082); and pass a state income tax for the upper income levels (1-1098).

There will also be three referenda on the ballot: R-52 to approve bonds for energy efficiency projects at schools and colleges; HJR 4220, to amend the state constitution to expand bail requirements and HJR 8225, to change the constitution’s rules on debt limits for the state.

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

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