Proposed pay hikes for politicians are Eyman’s newest target

If a citizen panel approves the raises in February, Eyman vows to pursue a referendum to repeal them.

OLYMPIA — Tim Eyman doesn’t think state lawmakers, judges and executives like the governor deserve the pay raises proposed for them by a panel of volunteers.

So the Mukilteo initiative promoter is making plans to block them from taking effect next year.

On Wednesday, Eyman will outline a strategy that essentially puts the Washington Citizens’ Commission on Salaries for Elected Officials on notice that if it approves its recommended pay hikes in February as scheduled, he will seek to repeal their decision with a referendum.

Though he can’t gather signatures, Eyman is using a web page and newly designed T-shirts to promote his message of “Give Them Nothing!”.

“I think this will be a really important battle,” Eyman said.

On Oct. 10, the panel of 16 volunteers adopted a proposed schedule of raises for the state’s 147 lawmakers, nine statewide executives and hundreds of judges elected to seats in district and superior courts, courts of appeal, and the Supreme Court.

Pay hikes would take effect on July 1, 2019 and July 1. 2020.

Under the proposal, increases over the two-year period range from 6.6 percent for Gov. Jay Inslee to 13 percent for Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib to 17.6 percent for lawmakers. Judges would see their pay climb by 12.7 percent next year and 5.1 percent in 2020.

Commissioners will hold hearings on recommendations in Spokane in November, Vancouver in December, and Silverdale in January. A final hearing is set for Feb. 4 in Olympia at which the commission could revise the schedule before taking final action.

Eyman said he and others will be showing up at the hearings to oppose the increases and be ready to get signatures soon after Feb. 4.

The proposal and contact information for the panel can be found online at https://salaries.wa.gov/.

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; jcornfield@herald net.com. Twitter: @dospueblos.

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