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Charter schools, Eyman tax measures file petitions; both appear to have enough signatures and would swell Nov. 6 ballot to six statewide measures

Post by Brad Shannon / The Olympian on July 6, 2012 at 11:58 am with No Comments »
July 6, 2012 4:01 pm

Backers of a charter school initiative and Tim Eyman’s latest version of a two-thirds vote requirement for tax hikes both met deadlines for submitting signatures to qualify for the Nov. 6 ballot. Checking of a sample of signatures is needed, but signs point to both I-1240’s charter schools plan and Eyman’s I-1185 both qualifying.

Assuming that happens, the fall ballot will have six measures ranging from same-sex marriage to debt control and marijuana decriminalization.

Tim Eyman, second from left, preparing to turn in signatures Friday. (AP Photo, Rachel LaCorte)
The Office of the Secretary of State is reporting both I-1240 and I-1185 are in good shape to qualify because they both exceeded the 241,153 minimum – with I-1240 saying it has brought in about 350,000 and Eyman reporting he has 318,000.

Secretary of State spokesman David Ammons identified the six measures now likely to be on the crowded ballot as:

Referendum 74, which qualified last month, asks voters to ratify or reject Senate Bill 6239, which Gov. Chris Gregoire signed into law to legalize civil marriage for same-sex couples. Religious conservatives collected enough signatures to block it from taking effect and forcing the question to the ballot.

Initiative 502 asks voters to allow marijuana sales and use. Backers collected signatures a year ago for an initiative to the Legislature, which did not act on it this year, automatically sending it to the ballot.

Senate Joint Resolution 8221 would amend the state Constitution to change the state debt limit calculation. The bipartisan measure is meant to allow more state-backed construction projects when economic times are bad and fewer in good times.

Senate Joint Resolution 8223 pertains to investments by the University of Washington and Washington State University.

I-1240 authorizes up to 40 charter schools over a five-year period.

I-1185 restates the two-thirds supermajority vote requirement for legislative tax increases, which is in existing law due to Eyman’s previous initiatives. The measure may be doomed – given that a judge recently ruled the previous measures were an unconstitutional limitation on the Legislature, but the case is headed for appeal to the state Supreme Court.

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