Tim Eyman’s latest initiative qualified for consideration Wednesday, meaning state lawmakers must decide this session to either accept it or send it to the voters.
The “Protect the Initiative Act,” or Initiative 517, would increase from six months to one year the time that initiative supporters have to gather signatures; make it a crime to interfere with signature gathering; and require that measures receiving enough signatures appear on the ballot even if there is a court challenge.
Eyman, the state’s most well-known initiative promoter, submitted some 347,000 signatures this month in support of the idea. The Secretary of State’s Office completed a random check of the signatures Wednesday.
The “Protect the Initiative Act” is also the subject of an investigation by the state Public Disclosure Commission. Critics say that the initiative’s costs for paid signature-gatherers were not properly reported to the PDC.