Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal

One initiative on the November ballot would guarante the right to vote on qualified initiatives — I-517. It’s an initiative on initiatives if you will. I believe the right of initiative, and to petition our government to change things when it takes actions we don’t agree with, is the single most important tool citizens have to force our state government to listen to us. They’ve proven over and over again, that no matter what we think, they believe they know what’s best for us down there in Olympia. The initiative process is one of the few ways citizens have to keep the tax-and-spend zealots in check.

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In November the people of Washington will vote on Initiative 517. The measure would make several changes to state law concerning signature gathering for initiatives and referendums. Initiative 517 would increase the time period for gathering signatures, require proposals that receive an adequate number of valid signatures to proceed to the ballot, change the penalties for interfering with signature gathering, and increase the number of locations, both public and private, where signature gathering can occur.

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One of the ballot measures voters will decide this year is I-517: Concerning initiative and referendum measures. The proposal is an initiative to the Legislature but lawmakers did not approve it meaning it will be placed before voters to pass final judgment.

According to the ballot title for I-517:

“This measure would set penalties for interfering with or retaliating against signature-gatherers and petition-signers; require that all measures receiving sufficient signatures appear on the ballot; and extend time for gathering initiative petition signatures.”

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Employer representatives on the Association of Washington Business’ (AWB) Board of Directors have voted unanimously to support Initiative 1053, a measure requiring a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to raise taxes. Board members approved the vote May 13 during the state chamber of commerce’s annual Spring Board Meeting in Spokane.

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The Building Industry Association of Washington’s (BIAW) Initiative 1082, which would allow private insurers to compete with the state Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) to offer employers workers’ compensation coverage has withstood a ballot title challenge from organized labor, and BIAW has begun printing petitions for signature gathering. BIAW was forced to battle labor union boss Rick Bender in court after he filed a challenge to the ballot title language drafted by the state Attorney General’s Office.