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Spin Control

Posts tagged: Initiative petitions

WA Lege Day 30: Signature-gathering, death penalty, rape laws

OLYMPIA — Hearings today run the gamut from rules covering collecting signatures on initiatives to abolishing the death penalty to eliminating the statute of limitations for child sexual assault.

A morning hearing at the State Government Committee generated familiar testimony for and against a plan to requires signature gathering businesses to register with the state, paid signature gatherers to sign the back of their petitions and provide other information. The bill also would raise the filing fee from $5 to $50.

An afternoon hearing in Senate Judiciary would abolish the death penalty in Washington, substituting life in prison without parole for cases that currently carry capital punishment.

Also in the afternoon, the House Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Committee has a bill that would allow prosecution for first or second-degree rape of a minor. Rape of an adult could be prosecuted within 10 years if the crime is reported to police within a year of the attack, but would have to be prosecuted within the current three-year limit if the attack is not reported within a year of the attack.

No word yet on when the Legislature will revisit proposals to block tax increases for unemployment insurance or the supplemental budget.

It's Immigrants Day and Employment Day for All at the Capitol.

Judge allows initiative signatures to be released

OLYMPIA — Washington state can release the signatures on initiative and referendum petitions for all ballot measures except the one still tied up in federal court, a state judge said Friday morning.

Thurston County Superior Court Richard Hicks, dissolved an injunction that was keeping the Secretary of State’s office from filling public records requests for 11 different petition drives, most of them for initiatives sponsored by Tim Eyman. The U.S. Supreme Court previously ruled in a separate case there is no basis for a blanket ban on releasing the names on initiative petitions and  has sent  that case back to federal court in Seattle on whether the sponsors of Referendum 71 can prove there are special circumstances regarding their ballot measure to block the release of names.

But the names on petitions for the other initiatives requested by Bryan Wahl, a Mountlake Terrace lobbyist, Hicks said can be released. State attorneys had argued some 2 million  names of petition signers had been released over the last six years without incident.

David Ammons, a spokesman for the Secretary of State’s office, said the names would be released sometime Friday or early next week.

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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.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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