Washington voters approved a minimum wage hike and will allow courts to remove guns from people judged to be extremely dangerous, but nixed a carbon tax that could have shown up on their utility bills and in gasoline purchases.
They agreed to a plan that supporters say will protect seniors, but a proposal aimed at toughening campaign finance laws was failing after the first round of ballots counted.
With all Washington counties reporting the ballots they had on hand as of Tuesday morning, here’s how the different initiatives are faring:
Initiative 1433, which would raise the state minimum wage from the current $9.47 an hour to $13.50 an hour by 2020 in annual increments, passed with 59 percent of the voters approving. The measure also requires most businesses to allow workers to earn paid family or medical leave time.
Initiative 1464, which would rearrange the state’s campaign and lobbying laws by allowing voters to give up to three candidates a credit toward a $50 campaign contribution, seemed likely to fail with 53 percent of voters opposing. The initiative would have also required more information on who’s paying for campaign ads, limited the money lobbyists could give to candidates and forced state officials and senior staff to wait three years before lobbying the Legislature.
Initiative 1491, which would allow family members or law enforcement to ask for a judge to issue an order removing firearms from a person ruled an “extreme risk” of harming themselves or others, was passing with 71 percent of the vote. A temporary order lasting up to two weeks could be issued without the person present, but up to a one-year order could only be issued after a full hearing with the subject present and represented by an attorney. Supporters called it a gun safety issue, not a gun control issue. Opponents said it could result in people losing their constitutional right to bear arms without due process.
Initiative 1501, which would protect some personal information about senior citizens, other vulnerable persons and the people who care for them, passed with 72 percent of the vote. The measure was described by supporters as a way to prevent vulnerable people from identity theft, although critics said it was also an organizing tool for the labor union that represents home care workers.
Initiative 732, which would have placed a tax on businesses that produce carbon pollution, failed with 59 percent of ballots cast against the measure. The carbon tax, which likely would be passed on at the gasoline pump by oil refiners and to natural gas and electricity customers by utilities, would have been offset with a 1 cent per dollar drop in the sales tax and some offsets in the business and occupation tax.
Initiative 735, which would urge the state’s Congressional delegation to propose a constitutional amendment that would say corporations don’t have a right to make campaign contributions, passed with 64 percent of the vote. Although the initiative isn’t binding on the delegation and didn’t propose specific language on the amendment, supporters saw it as a way of showing the public’s dissatisfaction with the campaign funding process and pushing Congress to act.
Senate Joint Resolution 8210, which would shorten the time allowed for a special commission to redraw congressional and legislative boundaries, passed with 78 percent of the vote. Every 10 years after the U.S. Census, legislative leaders appoint a committee to redraw boundaries to reflect population shifts. The current law calls for those plans to be ready by Dec. 31. SJR 8210 would move up the time table to Nov. 15.
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