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, September 30, 2013

Ballot 2013

Initiatives

Initiative Measure No. 517 concerns initiative and referendum measures.  If enacted I-517 would have three related results.

First, I-517 would make it illegal to interfere or retaliate against  signature-gatherers and/or petition-signers.  There have been cases recently where thugs have intimidated petitioners.    Second, it will require that all measures receiving sufficient signatures appear on the ballot.  This is primarily to prevent the use of the courts to rule the people cannot vote.   Lastly,  petition drives would have more time to gather initiative petition signatures.

I-517 safeguards the petition process.  Thus it will help to promote a healthy democracy in Washington State.  Impolite recommends you vote Yes on I-517.



Initiative Measure No. 522:  "Mandatory Labeling of Genetically Engineered Food" measure. 522 started out as an initiative to the legislature, calling on the legislature to enact some new content regulations for food labeling.  The legislature referred the matter back to the people so we get to vote.


Everybody wants to know what they are eating, naturally.  Reasonable requirements for food labeling can include a list of modified ingredients.  But many people are frightened they are eating unhealthy, totally artificial food.  Fear is the mind killer.  People should eat more right to be healthy.

You are not a carrot or a corn plant - those are genetically different from most voters.   Why don't people think about the fact that when they eat something, it is a totally different genetically?  Your digestive system is designed to break down products of foreign genetics into stuff your body can use.

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"Taking a purely empirical view, labeling of genetically modified organisms provides little useful consumer health or safety information. GE products currently in the marketplace have proven safe in foods and animal feeds through use and testing. Environmentally, these products can have a good record of improvement over conventional production methods while maintaining the high yields and profits necessary for farmers.  These facts have been repeatedly demonstrated in the peer reviewed scientific literature... ."  Source

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Nonetheless, the I-522 campaign is cheap politics.

An ad for 522 claims initiatives opponents are supported by dark and sinister corporations, therefore they are lying.  The I-522 campaign says there will be no increase in cost.  The state says the cost of I-522 will be "non-zero but indeterminate cost and/or savings" according to the Office of Fiscal Management's fiscal note.  Even though  the cost is unknown, that is not the same as no cost at all.  The I-522 campaign is lying

The I-522 tells you I-522 opponents are supported by 'corporations' (cue spooky music).  The I-522 campaign won't tell you they get most of their support from "organic" foods corporations.  Organic foods companies to sell unprocessed or less-processed foods, unpasteurized milk products, and soybean curd.  Organic food is a huge profit maker.

I-522 labeling requirement are focused at processed foods.  You can see this is mainly a way for the "organic" foods people to lash out at processed foods companies -- so the "organic" corporations can grab more profit.  Most of the money for 522 is coming in from out of state

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I-522 is half-baked.  Too bad the legislature didn't do their jobs and write some sensible law when they had the chance (Maybe that is too much to hope).   Impolite recommends a no vote on I-522. 

Eat your vegetables.  Watch your weight.  Be healthy.



Advisory Votes

Advisory votes are non-binding. The results will not change the law.  These makes the matter seem trivial to most people so it drops off the radar.  Despite the fact that the vote is advisory, it is important to be informed about the legislature's activities.

There are five new tax questions:

SSB 5444, titled AN ACT Relating to administration of taxes regarding publicly owned property, was passed by the House of Representatives. The Office of Financial Management has identified this bill as requiring a ten-year projection of increased cost to the taxpayers or affected feepayers.

Ten-year projection:

Fiscal
Year

     Leasehold
     Excise Tax

2014

$ 145,000
2015

167,000
2016

175,000
2017

183,000
2018

194,000
2019

202,000
2020

210,000
2021

218,000
2022

227,000
2023

235,000

Total:

     $ 1,956,000

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SB 5627, titled AN ACT Relating to the taxation of commuter air carriers, has been passed by the House of Representatives. The Office of Financial Management has identified this bill as requiring a ten-year projection of increased cost to the taxpayers or affected feepayers.

Ten-year projection:

Fiscal
Year

   Aircraft Excise Tax

2014

$  35,000
2015

35,000
2016

38,000
2017

38,000
2018

41,000
2019

41,000
2020

44,000
2021

44,000
2022

47,000
2023

47,000

Total:

$ 410,000

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The House of Representatives has concurred with ESHB 1846 AMS WM S2534.1 as amended by the Senate, titled AN ACT Relating to stand-alone dental coverage, and has passed the bill final passage. The Office of Financial Management has identified this bill as requiring a ten-year projection of increased cost to the taxpayers or affected feepayers.

Ten-year projection:

Section 3(6)(c) of this bill removes the exemption for pediatric oral services offered as essential health benefits outside the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. Since these services have previously been exempted, this will result in additional revenue for the insurance premium tax. However, the amount of taxable activity resulting from pediatric oral health care services benefits cannot be estimated. Consequently, the amount of additional revenue attributed to pediatric oral services offered as essential health benefits outside the Health Benefit Exchange is indeterminate.
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2E2SHB 1971, titled AN ACT Relating to communications services reform, was passed by the Senate in the 2013 2nd Special Session. The Office of Financial Management has identified this bill as requiring a ten-year projection of increased cost to the taxpayers or affected feepayers.

Ten-year projection:
Fiscal
Year

   Retail Sales Tax

2014

$  36,258,000
2015

12,875,000
2016

43,470,000
2017

43,470,000
2018

43,470,000
2019

43,470,000
2020

43,470,000
2021

43,470,000
2022

43,470,000
2023

43,470,000

Total:

$ 396,893,000
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EHB 2075, titled AN ACT Relating to preserving funding deposited into the education legacy trust account used to support common schools and access to higher education by restoring the application of the Washington estate and transfer tax to certain property transfers while modifying the estate and transfer tax to provide tax relief for certain estates, has been passed by the Senate in the 2013 2nd Special Session. The Office of Financial Management has identified this bill as requiring a ten-year projection of increased cost to the taxpayers or affected feepayers.

Ten-year projection:
Fiscal
Year

    Estate Tax

2014

$ 109,700,000
2015

39,300,000
2016

39,300,000
2017

35,300,000
2018

34,400,000
2019

40,000,000
2020

42,300,000
2021

44,300,000
2022

46,100,000
2023

47,700,000

Total:

   $ 478,400,000

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That's a total of $877,659,000 in new taxes.

You can verify this information at the ballot info listserve




Election results will be posted here after the election.

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“It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.”
-- Joseph Stalin