Initiative 1053 is an initiative sponsored by Tim Eyman and backed by corporate funding from oil companies like BP and Conoco Phillips and banks like Bank of America, Wells Fargo and US Bank. It is special interest legislation trying to give a minority of 1/3 of the State Legislators supporting these corporate interests veto power over the majority of Legislators. It is undemocratic and unconstitutional. Yet that doesn’t stop these special interests from trying to pull a fast one on Washington voters.
Many statewide organizations are opposing Initiative 1053. Futurewise has joined the Coalition against Initiative 1053 as have other environmental groups like the Washington Conservation Voters and the Cascade Chapter of the Sierra Club. Futurewise describes itself as “a statewide public interest group working to promote healthy communities and cities while protecting farmland, forests and shorelines today and for future generations.” It recently celebrated its 20th anniversary of working.
Futurewise provides the following reason for their opposition to Initiative 1053:
Tim Eyman’s Initiative 1053 would institute minority rule in Washington state, empowering one-third (plus one) of the members of either the state House or Senate to prevent the majority from closing tax loopholes or raising new revenues. BP, Conoco Philips, and Tesoro are some of the top funders behind I-1053. For the past two years, the statewide Environmental Community of which Futurewise is a member, has prioritized the Clean Water Act of 2010 – a $100 million investment in clean water infrastructure through either a fee or tax on polluters. If I-1053 passes, it will be even more difficult to make polluters like petroleum companies pay to clean up their messes. Futurewise encourages you to Vote NO I-1053.
I think Futurewise is understating the impact of I-1053 on our ability to enact legislation requiring polluters to pay for cleaning up waste hazards caused by the use of their products. The Legislature earlier this year was unable to pass legislation by a simple majority to require polluters like the oil companies to pay for cleaning up stormwater runoff caused by oil and other toxic chemicals. Initiative 1053 would allow 1/3 of the members of either the House or the Senate to block such legislation. I think it would make it not just more difficult but almost impossible to pass such legislation under these circumstances.
Futurewise is also urging a No vote on Initiative 1107 pushed by the beverage industry to repeal taxes on pop and candy, They are urging a YES vote on Referendum 52 to fund rehabbing schools for energy efficiency and a YES vote on Initiative 1098 for raising revenues for education and health care by taxing the top 1.2% of taxpayers on their income.