This measure would prohibit the use of motor vehicle fund revenue and vehicle toll revenue for non-transportation purposes, and require that road and bridge tolls be set by the legislature and be project-specific.
This measure would reinstate background checks, training, and other requirements for long-term care workers and providers, if amended in 2011; and address financial accountability and administrative expenses of the long-term in-home care program.
This measure would close state liquor stores and sell their assets; license private parties to sell and distribute spirits; set license fees based on sales; regulate licensees; and change regulation of wine distribution.
The legislature has proposed a constitutional amendment on repealing article VI, section 1A, of the Washington Constitution. This amendment would remove an inoperative provision from the state constitution regarding the length of time a voter must reside in Washington to vote for president and vice-president.
The legislature has proposed a constitutional amendment on the budget stabilization account maintained in the state treasury. This amendment would require the legislature to transfer additional moneys to the budget stabilization account in each fiscal biennium in which the state has received “extraordinary revenue growth,” as defined, with certain limitations.
Spokane County Measure 1 seeks a property tax increase to provide a new regional animal shelter big enough to accommodate the city of Spokane’s request for service.
If approved by voters countywide, a property tax levy up to 5.8 cents per $1,000 of assessed value for a maximum of nine years.
This is the second version of the Community Bill of Rights to come before Spokane voters. The first was soundly rejected at the polls in 2009.
The proposal was brought to the ballot by Envision Spokane, a coalition of union, environmental and human rights activists.
The new list is significantly shorter than the first with only four items.
Part 1 would give neighborhood residents who are registered voters veto power over any rezoning of land in their neighborhood if the rezoning involved commercial or industrial development larger than 10,000 square feet or residential development with more than 20 units. Developers of such projects would have to collect signatures from a majority of registered voters of a neighborhood in order to move ahead with the project.
Part 2 declares that the Spokane River, its tributaries and the aquifer “possess inalienable rights to exist and flourish,” and the city or any citizen could sue any entity that violates that right.
Part 3 declares that workers “in unionized workplaces shall possess the right to collective bargaining.”
Part 4 stipulates that corporations would “not be deemed as ‘persons’ ” and could not interfere with the enforcement of the Community Bill of Rights.
The last part, supporters admit, contradicts rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court and is meant to challenge case law that gives protections to corporations.
Supporters say it would give neighborhoods power in choosing their destinies and argue that the extra requirement to get neighbor support is reserved only for the kind of development changes that would significantly change the quality of life of the surrounding area. They say current environmental regulations aren’t enough to protect the river and often are successfully challenged or watered down. Further, they say the Bill of Rights fights back against corporations, who have gained too much control over the political system.
Opponents, however, say the Community Bill of Rights is a recipe for expensive, budget-crushing lawsuits both against the city and against businesses, in part, because it doesn’t define what might be a violation of the river’s right to flourish and, more obviously, the proposal’s blatant contradiction with existing case law on corporations. They also say the rezoning rules would add needless bureaucracy to expanding businesses, which would simply move and create jobs somewhere else.
Once again, the proposal hasn’t gained the backing of any elected city leader, though it does have the endorsement of the Spokane Regional Labor Council.
Spokane County Fire District 8 is asking voters to approve it’s first ever Maintenance and Operations levy. The levy would collect $400,000 per year for two years and would cost homeowners an estimated 17 cents per $1,000 in assessed home value. District leaders say the levy is needed to help replace some of the revenue lost in recent years to what they say are declining property taxes.