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Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

January 21, 2015 at 6:11 AM

Want change? Start by filing an initiative: Tim Eyman submits 17

The Associated Press

OLYMPIA — The start of the new year is also initiative filing season in Washington.

The secretary of state’s office says 37 have been filed so far, led by 17 from initiative activist Tim Eyman.

Some of Eyman’s initiatives are called the Taxpayer Protection Act, Tougher on Tolls, Bring Back $30 Car Tabs and Let the Voters Decide on Red Light Cameras.

But all lawmakers don’t necessarily look fondly on the initiative process. Nearly 40 senators are supporting a proposed constitutional amendment that would prevent budget-busting ballot initiatives from being filed unless supporters also include a way to pay for it.

Sen. Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle, who is one of the more than three dozen co-sponsors, said that voters need to be faced with the same choices that lawmakers are when contemplating whether to create programs or eliminate taxes.

“From my perspective, the proposed constitutional amendment is really a way of respecting voters by giving them honest information and honest choices about the cost of their choices through the initiative process,” he said.

Registered votes can file initiatives through July 2. Sponsors need to gather signatures from more than 246,000 registered voters to be placed on the general election ballot. But they should submit at least 325,000 to cover invalid or duplicate names.

If the initiative is approved by a simple majority of voters, it becomes state law.

Comments | More in Secretary of State | Topics: initiatives

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