Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spin Control

9 ballot measures top Washington ballot

The presidential race may get the most attention in the next 97 days, but it won't be the first thing voters see on the Nov. 8 general election ballot. 

To get to the presidential race, and all the other candidates running for federal, state and local, Washington voters will first be presented with a wide range of topics on nine separate ballot measures. 

They'll have a chance to approve or reject new laws that would impose stricter gun safety or raise the minimum wage on initiatives that gathered enough signatures to go directly to the ballot. They can impose a new tax on carbon emissions or ask Congress for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would limit campaign contributions, two ideas first presented to the Legislature but ignored by lawmakers. They can tweak the system that will redraw congressional boundaries in 2011. 

And they can offer their advice to the Legislature on two changes to tax law earlier this year. But lawmakers likely won't do anything with that advice because they haven't in the past.

Here's the rundown of ballot measures approved for the general election ballot:

I-1433: would increase the minimum wage to $13.50 by 2020, and require most businesses to offer at least some sick and safe leave to workers.

I-1464: Would set up a state campaign funding system by repealing the sales tax exemption for some out-of-state purchasers, put new restrictions on public employees who become lobbyists and limit contributions by lobbyists and state contractors. 

I-1491: Would allow family members or law enforcement to seek "extreme risk" protection orders against a person a court rules is dangerous, requiring him or her to surrender firearms.

I-1501: Would increase penalties for identity theft or fraud when it involves senior citizens or vulnerable residents.

I-732: Would impose a carbon emissions tax on fossil fuels and reduce the sales tax by 1 percent.

I-735: Would ask Congress to pass a constitutional amendment that corporations don’t have the same rights as people and that contributions aren't protected Free Speech so they can be regulated by law. (Editor's note: Earlier version of this post misstated one aspect of the initiative.) 

Senate Joint Resolution 8210: Would change the state constitution to require redrawn congressional and legislative boundaries be submitted by a special in mid November of the year after a U.S. Census, about six weeks earlier than current law.

Advisory vote 14: Involves a tax increase on insurance premiums for some family dental plans.

Advisory vote 15: Limits tax exemptions for alternative-fuel vehicles.


Jim Camden
Jim Camden joined The Spokesman-Review in 1981 and retired in 2021. He is currently the political and state government correspondent covering Washington state.

Follow Jim online: