Initiatives on carbon fees, soda taxes qualify for ballot

OLYMPIA – Two more initiatives have been certified for the November ballot after a check of signatures by the state elections office.

Initiative 1631, which would place a fee on carbon pollution to raise money for environmental projects, and Initiative 1634, which would prevent local governments from placing taxes on soda or groceries, both had more than enough signatures to qualify for the ballot, the secretary of state office said Thursday.

Another initiative, which would place new restrictions on the sale of semi-automatic rifles and the storage of firearms in homes, also has been certified as having enough signatures but faces a court challenge over the way the petitions showed how the law would be changed.

An initiative to the Legislature to change state law on the use of deadly force by law enforcement officials is also in court. The Legislature passed that initiative, but only after passing an amendment that would change the initiative the day after it became law.

The court challenge questions whether that was legal because the state Constitution says the Legislature can pass an initiative unchanged or put the initiative and an alternative on the ballot. A trial court has ruled the original initiative should go on the ballot, but the state Supreme Court is reviewing that decision.