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OLYMPIA – Chris Gregoire entered the governor’s office under a cloud of suspicion in 2005 and took control of a state starting to feel the winds of a strengthening economy in its sails. When 65-year-old Gregoire leaves office next month, she will have presided over some of the largest increases in state spending, managed through a recession that forced her to abandon or cut some programs she holds dear, and at one time or another angered almost every constituency over something she did or didn’t do.
OLYMPIA – The fiscal note on the latest initiative requiring a supermajority in the Legislature for tax increases will remain in the state voters’ guide, even though it is different from a nearly identical initiative that passed in 2010, a judge ruled today. That might not have much effect in the upcoming election, but it could be a point of contention in the Legislature next year if Initiative 1185 passes, sponsor Tim Eyman said.
Washington state voters will have a chance to formally tell state lawmakers what they think about some taxes in the state, officials said Monday.
OLYMPIA – Washington voters could face ballot measures this November on marijuana, same-sex marriage, charter schools and supermajorities for taxes. But they won’t face more than one on any of those topics. Supporters of Initiative 1240, which would allow up to 40 charter schools in the state’s public systems, and Initiative 1183, the latest proposal to require two-thirds majorities for taxes in the Legislature, plan to turn in their signed petitions Friday morning, the final day to submit laws that can be passed directly by the people.
Is the supermajority constitutional? A judge in King County said no this week, ruling that Initiative 1053, which requires a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to raise any tax, violated the state’s constitutional establishment of a simple majority to pass laws. But as the legal arguments move to the state Supreme Court, it’s worth noting the question that Judge Bruce Heller didn’t answer: Is the supermajority stupid?
Tim Eyman's anti-tax initiatives have developed, he admits, "a partisan tinge" over the years. But Washington's ballot-measure king says he finally has found an issue that unites voters across the aisle: red-light cameras.
Critics of red-light cameras in Wenatchee are back with another effort to get on the November ballot.
OLYMPIA – Washington voters will likely face proposals on tolls, liquor and home health care workers on the November ballot. But not on chickens or marijuana.
OLYMPIA – The Senate agreed last week to extend tax breaks for film companies that shoot movies and TV shows in Washington. That makes good economic sense, considering a movie being shot in Spokane generates jobs as well as a certain amount of buzz that can’t be measured in monetary terms but definitely boosts community spirit. Spotting stars like Samuel L. Jackson or Cuba Gooding Jr. at downtown hotels, bars and coffee shops is great sport. Even the most jaded among us can’t resist watching a locally shot production like “The Basket” and saying, “Well you know, the climactic basketball game is actually played in the Masonic Temple.”