Tag Archives: Initaitive 1033

Initiative 1033 is a Freeze on Public Services

Eyman is dishonest about the actual impacts of I-1033 on this state and cities and counties. Eyman is in essence proposing repealing existing taxes; he is not allowing government to function as a representative democracy but wants to impose budgeting by referendum.

When the economy improves, sales tax revenues under the present system would go up. There is no increase in sales tax rates. Taxes are not being increased. More taxes at the same tax rate are being collected because of a more robust economy. We would have more revenue to reinvest in our cities and counties and state and restore some of the services lost due to the current recession.

But Eyman is saying anything above this year’s recession level of public spending is increasing taxes. This is false. There is an increase in tax revenue but it is not raising your tax rate. Eyman is pandering to people’s fears and misrepresenting our actual tax collection process.

He then says that by allowing for a slight adjustment for inflation and population he is allowing government to grow. This is also false. Public services per person are not growing; by adjusting for population, you have more people needing government services. And adjusting for inflation only means that you can buy this year’s services next year at their inflated price. Because a gallon of gasoline costs more for a fire truck next year and you adjust so you can pay the inflated price, you still only have purchased a gallon of gasoline.

Thus at it’s simplest I-1033 is a freeze in public services. But it is also reducing taxes by changing our current tax collection system and imposing an artificial limit on the amount that can be collected. Services are reduced because it is taking all money above this year’s recession level spending and saying it can only be used to cut property taxes.

Normally this increase in money from an improved economy would help funds schools and roads and parks and much more. But it would no longer be available under I-1033 without a public vote. This would institute a series of votes to budget by referendum, which is a costly and time wasting process. And Eyman knows it is more difficult to ask for this money once he has committed it to pay property taxes.

Eyman’s intent as always is to just reduce government and taxes without regard for that impact on the community. We’re not an overtaxed state compared to other states. The conservative Tax Foundation notes that we are in the bottom 1/3 of states in terms of state and local tax burden. We are 35th lowest (with 1 being the highest).

I-1033 isn’t needed and will severely impact state and local government’s ability to function efficiently and provide basic needed services. Vote No on this tax shift that mainly benefits rich property owners and locks us in a permanent recession.

Vote No on Initiative 1033.

Washington State on Path to Dysfunctional Government?

The Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court this past weekend denounced his state’s overuse of the referendum process, stating that it has made California’s state government “dysfunctional“.

Similarities in the issues he raises arise with repeated Eyman initiatives, like I-1033, here in Washington State.

As reported in the New York Times, Chief Justice Ronald M George

denounced the widespread use of the referendum process to change state laws and constitutions. And he derided California as out of control, with voters deciding everything from how state budgets are spent to how farm animals are managed.

The state is unusual, he said, because it prohibits its Legislature from amending or repealing many types of laws without voter approval, essentially hamstringing that body — and the executive branch.

Justice George’s remarks come at a time of severe budget crisis in California stemming from a variety of factors, including mandates from ballot initiatives …

Justice George said that perhaps the “most consequential” impact of the referendum process is that it limits “how elected officials may raise and spend revenue.” He added, “California’s lawmakers, and the state itself, have been placed in a fiscal straitjacket by a steep two-thirds-vote requirement — imposed at the ballot box — for raising taxes.”

He added: “Much of this constitutional and statutory structure has been brought about not by legislative fact-gathering and deliberation, but rather by the approval of voter initiative measures, often funded by special interests. These interests are allowed under the law to pay a bounty to signature-gatherers for each signer. Frequent amendments — coupled with the implicit threat of more in the future — have rendered our state government dysfunctional, at least in times of severe economic decline.”

Similarities between the issues he raises about California and our situation here in Washington State are pretty obvious.

Previously voters passed Initiative 960 which requires a 2/3 vote of the Washington State Legislature to raise taxes or a vote of the people.
Initiative 960 even considers repealing special interest Tax Exemptions as raising revenue and requiring a 2/3 vote. So we’re not even able to just take a majority vote to repeal Tax Exemptions which aren’t working.

A 2/3 vote of the Legislature is needed to change an initiative for the first two years after it is enacted. Next Legislative session in January will mark the end of two years and I-960 can be changed with a simple majority vote.

But if I-1033 passes, it would put in that place that public votes would be required to raise taxes. Eyman’s Initiative 1033 does not just deal with freezing the state budget but also that of all 39 counties and 281 cities. For another two years this requirement could only be overturned by a 2/3 vote of the Legislature.

Any revenue increase by cities, counties or the state above Eyman’s recession level budget freeze would require a vote of the people despite whatever changes are made to I-960.

All this sounds like and is leading us down the road to California’s dysfunctional governing process that the California’s Chief Justice warns the public about.

Washington voters need to realize that Eyman’s straight jacket approach to government is lunacy and destined to make things much worse in Washington State. Vote No on I-1033.

No on 1033 Releases first TV Ads

Press release today from No on 1033 Campaign.

No on 1033 releases first ads of general election
Ads highlight how I-1033 would impact seniors, classrooms, students

(Seattle, WA) – The No on 1033 campaign today released the first two television ads of the state’s 2009 general election. The ads highlight how I-1033 would worsen the health care crisis for Washington’s seniors and damage its schools. The ads also highlight how a very similar Colorado law, suspended by voters in 2005, resulted in crowded classrooms, underfunded schools and reduced health care for kids and seniors.

You can view the ads here:

Ad #1 – I-1033 worsens health care crisis:

Ad #2 – I-1033 hurts Washington’s classrooms and kids:

Both ads show how I-1033 would cause today’s tough times to become even worse, especially for seniors and students. The initiative’s limits on spending and revenue would lock in this year’s budget, making recessionary cuts permanent, and force even deeper cuts in the future.

“Seniors would be among those hardest hit by Initiative 1033,” said Doug Shadel, state director of AARP Washington. “Initiative 1033 would worsen our health care crisis and make it harder to dig out of this recession.”

This year’s budget forced the state to drop approximately 35,000 people from Basic Health, make deep cuts to hospitals and community health clinics, and slash support for seniors and people with disabilities.

“With our aging population, we need more health caregivers in hospitals and nursing homes, not less,” said Leo Greenawalt, president of the Washington State Hospital Association. “But the cuts from Initiative 1033 would result in losing these valuable caregiver jobs, something our seniors and local economies can’t afford.”

Hundreds of millions were cut from public schools and an additional $500 million was cut from higher education. As a result, as many as 3,000 teachers, librarians and other educational employees are facing layoffs while districts are cutting programs, like art, music and sports, and bus routes. Colleges are reducing staff and course offerings while increasing tuition by nearly 30 percent over two years.

I-1033 would make these recessionary holes impossible to fill and guarantee more cuts in the future, even as the economy recovers. The nonpartisan Office of Financial Management estimates that I-1033 would reduce revenues that support education, health care and other services by $5.9 billion over the next five years.

“Initiative 1033 would jeopardize our classrooms and students,” said Mary Lindquist, president of the Washington Education Association. “Initiative 1033 will make it harder for our students to receive a quality education and succeed in school.”

Both ads show how I-1033 is a proven failure and illustrate some of the damages a very similar law did to Colorado’s seniors and students. Under the law, Colorado fell to 49th in K-12 spending, and, as a result, ranks near last among states in high school graduation rates. Colorado suspended the requirement that children be fully-immunized before being enrolled in school, because there were not enough state funds to buy vaccines. Colorado’s proportion of low-income children without health insurance doubled, even as more children in other states got health insurance.

Both ads will run on cable and network television in Spokane and Seattle media markets, and on cable in the Vancouver media market.
For immediate release
Scott Whiteaker (No on 1033), 206-303-9716

The following are available to comment on I-1033’s impacts to health care, seniors and education:

Cassie Sauer (WSHA), 206-216-2538

Jason Erskine (AARP WA), 1-866-227-7457

Rich Wood (WEA), 253-765-7042

Go to the No on 1033 campaign website to sign up to oppose I-1033, to volunteer to help and to make a donation to help get the TV ads out.