It’s October: Time to think about the ballot initiatives

There will be two statewide ballot measures on the November ballot, along with four advisory votes. Now that we’re into October, increased attention will turn to the two ballot measures. Although most of the focus will be on Initiative 1366, we expect Initiative 1401 will also receive considerable discussion. 

Opportunity Washington takes no position on these ballot measures, but wanted to link you to some recent research and editorial commentary. 

We’ve written briefly about I-1366 previously. Briefly, it requires the Legislature to refer to the voters a proposed constitutional amendment that would impose a supermajority requirement for tax increases. Should the Legislature not make the referral, the sales tax would be reduced by 1 percentage point, from 6.5 percent to 5.5 percent. As others have noted, nothing prevents lawmakers from making up for the lost revenue by increasing other taxes. 

The Washington Research Council has published an analysis of the measure. So has Washington Policy Center. The Seattle Times has published a pro-1366 op-ed and a no-on-1366 op-ed. The editorial board recommends a no vote

Here’s the ballot title for I-1401: 

Initiative Measure No. 1401 concerns trafficking of animal species threatened with extinction. This measure would make selling, purchasing, trading, or distributing certain animal species threatened with extinction, and products containing such species, a gross misdemeanor or class-C felony, with exemptions for certain types of transfers.

The Seattle Times also did a pro and con on I-1401. 

Although I-732, which proposes a carbon tax,  won’t be on the November ballot – it’s an initiative to the Legislature that’s still gathering signatures – the Spokesman-Review editorial board examines the proposal on the Sunday editorial page. 

Outside legislative chambers, there’s still of lot of would-be policymaking going on.