King County would be required to get voters’ approval before spending more than $50 million on any building under a proposed initiative by opponents to publicly financed stadiums.
The measure filed Wednesday would be on the ballot next September if 60,000 signatures can be gathered in 60 days, says Citizens for More Important Things, which helped defeat a 1995 measure to fund a baseball stadium and Kingdome renovations.
“We’re back because the public trust has been broken by the politicians,” said group chairman Nick Licata, a Seattle insurance broker.
Licata said the county should not be pursuing “sports palaces” while children continue to live in poverty.
County Councilman Ron Sims said he has no problem with voters being asked whether to fund pro sports facilities.
But he and other council members said the initiative is too broad and could delay important projects, including $80 million in proposed courthouse improvements to meet earthquake standards.
County lawyers have five days to review the initiative and write a ballot title before signatures can be gathered.
County prosecutors have rejected several referendums challenging the county’s actions on the baseball stadium.The county has been asked to issue $296 million in ballpark bonds in February.