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As it currently stands, good Idahoans will lose their coverage to yet another undisclosed consequence of the Medicaid expansion promoted by out-of-state funding and interests.
In a democratic election, surpassing 50% is a win. A victory north of 60% is a mandate. Getting nearly 80% of the vote is a popular demand. On Nov. 5, voters in Spokane were crystal clear about their demands regarding two of Washington state’s most contentious issues – opposition to an income tax and support for open collective bargaining negotiations. Spokane voter opinion was so strong it could cascade across the Cascades.
Spokane voters were asked to weigh in on two propositions in this election, one that would ban a city income tax and another that would require collective bargaining sessions to be conducted in public view.
This November, Spokane voters will consider Proposition 2, a charter amendment that would stop city officials from imposing a local income tax -- a protection voters might want to make sure they have.
Sponsor Michael Cathcart said the measure is intended to make sure the city remains competitive in business recruitment.
Unfortunately, the Idaho Legislature has diluted the original intent of Proposition 2, the Medicaid expansion initiative passed by more than 60% of the voters.
The League of Women Voters of Idaho formally voices opposition to any bill that includes cuts and other modifications to the Medicaid expansion proposition as passed by 61 percent of the voters in November’s election.
Map of vote split in Spokane city precincts shows voters closest to downtown core and its rail line supported Proposition 2, those farthest away strongly opposed.
Proposition 2 was failing with only 41 percent of votes cast in favor of the measure, which had been criticized as illegal and potentially embroiling the city in costly legal battles.
Ultimately this is a federal matter, so voters should turn down Proposition 2. But that doesn’t mean community leaders and citizens shouldn’t keep up the pressure.
On the question of whether Spokane can – or should – fine the owners of rail cars transporting certain crude oil and coal through downtown, both sides say they’re on the right side of the law.
The group Safer Spokane has been hit with a complaint alleging yearlong violations of the state’s campaign finance disclosure laws for failing to file fiscal reports as required by law. The complaint was filed by a representative of the Spokane Home Builders Association, which has opposed the rail initiative.
Breean Beggs squares off against Andy Dunau in a contest for one of the most liberal-leaning areas of town. Dunau casts himself as a centrist, and says Beggs’ support of a rail initiative fining coal and oil trains is evidence the council doesn’t reflect the values of the city. Beggs says he’s concerned about safety and has worked to improve relationships at City Hall.
The fact remains: Trains are the safest, most environmentally friendly and most cost-effective means of moving coal and oil.
Proposition 2 is about truth, justice and protecting our community. It’s about whether “We the People” control our own governance, or concede it to the money and power of the oil and coal corporations and their hired guns. Truth: Bakken crude oil that ships through Spokane is extremely volatile, up to 75 percent more explosive than gasoline. (If in doubt, Google “Bakken oil train explosions.”)
Greater Spokane Incorporated has officially come out against Proposition 2, a ballot measure that would fine rail shipments of oil and coal through Spokane.
There were three propositions on the primary ballot, with two appearing to pass and the third falling short of the 60 percent needed. Fire District 4 levy passes easily
Propositions 1 and 2 offer Spokane voters savvy options for maintaining the streets and refurbishing a beloved park – without increasing current tax rates. Proposition 1 is the next step in financing street repairs, after the successful 10-year bond expires this year. This time it’s a 20-year levy, and if voters agree to extend current property tax assessments, the city would use the revenue to attract matching funds for up to $25 million annually to repair and upgrade streets and curbs and add bike lanes, lighting and landscaping.
Spokane's identity is so deeply entwined with the world's fair it hosted 40 years ago, and the massive transformation in its wake downtown, that it's difficult for some to remember Spokane as it once was: the steel heart of a powerful mining and lumber region.