Eyman optimistic about getting initiative on November ballots

Initiative sponsor Tim Eyman says he’s optimistic about getting enough signatures to qualify his latest measure for the Nov. 3 ballot.

Eyman said Thursday, June 25, that his organization is working hard to meet the July 2, deadline for submitting the required 246,372 valid signatures to qualify Initiative 1366 for the ballot.

I-1366, the Taxpayer Protection Act, is designed to direct the state legislature to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot, an amendment to require a two-thirds vote of both houses of the legislature to raise taxes and majority legislative approval to increase any fee.

The initiative would decrease the state sales-tax rate by one cent per dollar unless the legislature puts a proposed two-thirds-for-taxes constitutional amendment on a statewide ballot.

Eyman said Thursday that signature gatherers are getting close to having enough signatures to qualify I-1366 for November.

“We’re making good progress,” he said. “We’re not there yet, we’re just gonna’ keep our heads down and keep working hard until the end.”

Eyman added, “If the initiative qualifies, it’ll be because of this year’s legislative session and Gov. Inslee and the House and Senate Democrats’ seeming obsession with raising taxes. Whenever people ask why our initiative is necessary, all we say is ‘Did you see how tax-obsessed Olympia was this year?’”

State elections officials recommend that initiative sponsors get about 325,000 signatures to account for invalid and duplicate signatures.

One local legislator says that a required two-thirds legislative vote to raise taxes would be undemocratic.

State Rep. Cindy Ryu, a 32nd District Democrat, said Saturday that such a constitutional requirement would “take away the representative democracy we have enjoyed in Washington state for more than a century by requiring a two-thirds vote of the Legislature for the core job state legislators are mandated to perform,” adding, “As an immigrant (from South Korea), I chose to become a citizen of the USA. I embrace our democracy. I do not agree with Mr. Eyman who has repeatedly tried to hoodwink our citizens into believing that having a super-minority (one-third plus one of either chamber) make decisions for us is a good thing for Washingtonians. I-1366 would neither protect the taxpayers nor will it be good for democracy.”

Ryu represents Lynnwood, Woodway, parts of Edmonds and Mountlake Terrace, and the rest of the 32nd Legislative District.

Evan Smith can be reached at schsmith@frontier.com.

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