Judge modifies I-884 ballot title
The groups challenged the Attorney General's concise summary (big print) of the initiative because it did not mention that the measure will be funded by an increase in the state sales tax.
"Gregoire's version was clearly designed to not just inform voters, but influence them," said Tom McCabe, president of the Building Industry Association of Washington.
The new concise summary still does not mention the tax increase. It states: "Initiative Measure No. 884 concerns dedicating funds designated for educational purposes."
"Voters reading only the statement of the subject and no further will have no idea that their taxes are being increased by this measure," said Lynn Harsh, Executive Director of the Evergreen Freedom Foundation. "At the end of the day the most important thing is giving voters the facts so they can make an informed choice."
Parties to the lawsuit requested a summary with the two key elements of the measure: "Initiative Measure No. 884 concerns a retail sales tax increase earmarked for educational purposes."
Jamie Daniels, state director for the Washington chapter of Citizens for a Sound Economy, sees some improvement in the new wording: "I'm pleased the judge changed the wording in the text to reflect the fact that dollars raised from the sales tax increase will be designated, rather than dedicated, to education funding. While the money is designated, it may or may not be dedicated to education purposes since the legislature can change its intended use."
Former House Speaker Clyde Ballard expressed disappointment: "It's no wonder citizens are losing trust in government agencies and the judicial system. The Attorney General has been inconsistent about letting voters know the true costs of initiatives. I'm concerned the public will be deceived by the description of the "one percent increase" in the sales tax for I-884, since it is actually a 15.4 percent increase."
I-884 CONCISE SUMMARIES
Original Version (Attorney General)
Suggested Version (CSE, Ballard, BIAW, EFF)
Final Version (Judge Pomeroy)
OTHER MODIFICATIONS TO TITLE AND DESCRIPTION
* Nothing in this email should be construed as an attempt to aid or hinder the passage of any legislation.
For more information, contact:
Contact: Booker Stallworth, EFF
Jamie Daniels, CSE
Erin Shannon, BIAW
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work in this message is distributed under fair use without profit or payment for non-profit research and educational purposes only. [Ref. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml]