All political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and are established to protect and maintain individual rights.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Summary of State Measures, 2012 - and Impolite recommendations

Initiatives, Referenda, and Joint Resolutions. 

Not every issue has organized supporters or opponents.  Links will be added as the websites become active.

Initiative Measure 1185

I-1185 concerns tax and fee increases imposed by state government: I-1185 restates the existing requirement of 2/3rds legislative majority to increase taxes and fees. The big-state-government forces have dismantled each previous version of this law as soon as they could.

Under our state constitution, initiatives from the people can be modified by the legislature after a 2 year wait. Despite the fact the people have repeatedly enacted I-1185's tax protection (in the form of I-601, R-49, I-960, and I-1053).   In 2010, the people let taxpayer protection lapse, and we got a $5.1 billion tax increase. The tax increase was used to pay off SEIU, the government workers union.

Restating the law reinforces it.

Anti I-1185 forces claim the initiative is unconstitutional, based the strange idea the people ought not regulate their own tax rates.  In 2010, Olympia removed the reporting requirement on proposed tax laws.  Previous law required Olympia tell everything about legislative bills to increase fees and taxes.  Democracy requires that the people know what is happening.  But Olympia's big spenders wanted secrecy, so they ordered anti-democracy silence.  I-1185 reminds Olympia that the people demand open government.

In a smear effort, anti 1185 forces say that BP and Conoco Phillips have given "hundreds of thousands of dollars" (actually, $100,000 each) to support I-1185.  The biggest donor to I-1185 is the Beer Institute ($400,000).  In their haste to frighten us about "big oil," the anti I-1185s forgot about "big beer." As of August 1, the anti I-1185 forces have no donors, no cash, and are $27,000 in debt.  (August 13, 2012 update -- the government workers union, SEIU, bailed out No on I-1185 with $25,000 -- No on I-1185 has no published debt now.)

Impolite recommends you vote Yes on I-1185 to help continue the control of the stupid spending habits of the legislature.

Issue websites: For Voters Want More Choices / Against Permanent Defense


Initiative Measure 1240

I-1240 will promote creation of a public charter school system: Charter schools are "results" oriented, as specified in the school charter. They are open to the general school-age public, and run as private, not-for-profit, institutions.

Impolite will vote Yes on I-1240, and the creation of charter schools.

Issue websites: For Yes on 1240 / Against No on 1240


Referendum Measure 74

R 74 will confer no new right of same-sex partnering.  It will only change the legal use of the word "marriage" to include non-traditional meanings.  Current Washington state law RCW 26.60.030 already recognizes homosexual unions and aged persons in domestic partnership without traditional marriage.

R 74 will force the word "marriage" to be used to describe same-sex, mated, couples.  Also, the terms "husband" and "wife" will no longer indicate gender, but will be gender neutral.

A "no" vote on R 74 repeals the new law describing homosexual matings as "marriage."  A no vote also preserves the meaning of the words "marriage," "husband," and "wife."

Advertizing in favor of homosexual marriage says "love is all that matters." If love is the only measure then why can't you marry all of your friends at once? Or the pet you love? Its obvious love is not the only ingredient to marriage.

Impolite believes homosexuals ought to be free to do as they wish, but homosexual pairings should not be grouped together with traditional marriage.

Language should be controlled by common usage, and should never be controlled by government.  Redefining marriage to include non-traditional matings is authoritarian.  This is not a matter for government vote. Nonetheless, Olympia forced this divisive measure on the people.

People have a right to live as they want to, but no one has the right to control the words we use in our language.  Impolite recommends No on R74.

Issue websites: For R-74 Washington United for Marriage / Against R-74 Preserve Marriage Washington


Initiative to the Legislature 502

Concerns marijuana: I 502 would essentially legalize marijuana possession under state law. The Federal prohibition would be unaffected.  If 502 is passed by the people, the legislature will act on this matter.  An "Initiative to the Legislature" is not a direct action by the people, but an instruction to the legislature to act on a matter the people feel important.  

Approval of I-502 would legitimize Olympia's reluctance to enforce marijuana laws.  Impolite thinks Olympia should take a stand and stop sucking around for support, without prodding from special interest groups.  Impolite doesn't like the idea of legalizing public intoxication, which is the most likely result, but doesn't mind what people do in private.

Issue websites: For 502 New Approach Washington / Against 502 Toke of the Town


Engrossed Senate Joint Resolution 8221

8221 concerns implementation the Commission on State Debt recommendations regarding Washington's debt limit: Article VIII, section 1 of the Washington State Constitution establishes a limit on state debt. The current limit is 9% of average state revenues for the previous 3 years. Certain sorts of debt would be exempted.

The amendment states it would reduce the debt limit to 8% by 2034, but increase the actual allowable  debt to about 17%, because the revenue calculation base  would be increased. First, the revenue definition would be modified to include property tax as general revenue. Second, revenue calculations would be based on a 6 prior year basis, instead of the current 3 year base. The final result is if 8221 is enacted, the  state will pay more in interest.

Impolite objects to the inclusion of property taxes as "general revenue."  Presently, Washington State uses property taxes to fund schools. If property taxes are included in the general fund, school funding will be complicated, and most likely reduced yet again.  Plus, the debt load the state carries would be significantly increased.

Impolite recommends you vote No ESJR 8221

Another viewpoint - Washington Policy Center 

Washington State tax and revenue sources, according to the DOR.


Senate Joint Resolution 8223

SJR 8223 concerns investments by the University of Washington and Washington State University: If the people approve SJR 8223, then the University of Washington, under legislative control, will invest in private companies.

The Washington State Constitution directs the legislature to fund public education.  SJR 8223 would fundamentally alter that.  The University of Washington should be concerned with educating students, not funneling taxpayer money to pet corporations.

Impolite recommends you vote No on SJR 8223.

For Seattle Times / Against 8223 University of Washington Daily


Two advisory items appear on the ballot this year.  "Advisory" means Olympia has already made up their minds, but still feels the need to suck around for support.

Tax Advisory Proposition No 1, also known as SB6635 is complex.  It will eliminate business mortgages deductions for every business except some banks; extend the B&O tax exemption for raw food suppliers; complicate taxes for computer data processors; and clarify the legal definition of leasehold interest.  Impolite thinks mortgages are legitimate business expenditure, and despises complex tax regulations, and thus recommends you vote to vote to repeal SB 6635.

Tax Advisory Proposition No 2, also known as HB2590  Delays until July 1, 2020 the expiration of the pollution liability insurance agency's authority and its funding source (taxes) on petroleum sources.  Impolite urges you to vote to repeal HB 2590


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