LWVWA Ballot Measure Positions

The LWVWA Board of Directors approves positions on statewide Ballot Issues based on Issue Chair recommendations using policy statements in LWVWA Program in Action and LWVUS Impact on Issues. LWVWA may do the following with regard to the Ballot Measures:

  • Endorse/support
  • Oppose
  • Not take a position

SUPPORT

Referendum 88 / Initiative 1000


The legislature passed Initiative Measure No. 1000 concerning affirmative action and remedying discrimination, and voters have filed a sufficient referendum (Ref 88) petition on this act. Initiative 1000 would allow the state to remedy discrimination for certain groups and to implement affirmative action, without the use of quotas or preferential treatment (as defined), in public education, employment, and contracting.

Should Initiative 1000 be Approved [ ] Rejected [ ]

Read more about the LWVWA's position on this ballot measure.

OPPOSE

Initiative 976


Initiative 976—concerns motor vehicle taxes and fees. This measure would repeal, reduce, or remove authority to impose certain vehicle taxes and fees; limit annual motor-vehicle-license fees to $30, except voter-approved charges; and base vehicle taxes on Kelley Blue Book value.

Should this measure be enacted into law?

Read more about the LWVWA's position on this ballot measure.

SUPPORT

Senate Joint Resolution
No. 8200


The legislature has proposed a constitutional amendment concerning legislative powers in times of emergency. This measure would add "catastrophic incidents" to the specified times of emergency that the legislature may take certain immediate actions to ensure continuity of state and local governmental operations.

Should this constitutional amendment be Approved [ ] Rejected [ ]

Read more about the LWVWA's position on this ballot measure.


LWVWA Has Taken Position in Support of:

Referendum 88 / Initiative 1000

Official Ballot Title: The legislature passed Initiative Measure No. 1000 concerning affirmative action and remedying discrimination, and voters have filed a sufficient referendum petition on this act. Initiative 1000 would allow the state to remedy discrimination for certain groups and to implement affirmative action, without the use of quotas or preferential treatment (as defined), in public education, employment, and contracting.

Should Initiative 1000 be Approved [  ]   Rejected [  ]

Ballot summary

Initiative 1000 would allow the state to remedy documented or proven discrimination against, or underrepresentation of, certain disadvantaged groups. It would allow the state to implement affirmative action in public education, employment, and contracting if the action does not use quotas or preferential treatment. It would define affirmative action and preferential treatment. It would establish a Governor's commission on diversity, equity, and inclusion to ensure state agency compliance, comment on legislation, and publish annual reports.

LWVWA Board

  • Approved support of Initiative 1000 to the legislature and signature gathering at board meeting November 16, 2018.
  • Advocated for the measure in the 2019 Legislative Session. The Legislature approved Initiative 1000 on April 29, 2019.
  • When Referendum 88 received enough signatures to place the question of approval of Initiative 1000 on the November 5, 2019, Ballot, the Board voted to support the referendum to approve Initiative 1000 at its August 12, 2019, board meeting.

League Positions that support I-1000:

Social Policy: Secure equal rights and equal opportunity for all. Promote social and economic justice, and the health and safety of all Americans.

Equality of Opportunity

Statement of Position on Equality of Opportunity, as revised by the National Board in January 1989, based on positions announced by the National Board in January 1969, adopted by the 1972 Convention, expanded by the 1980 Convention and the 2010 Convention.

The League of Women Voters of the United States believes that the federal government shares with other levels of government the responsibility to provide equality of opportunity for education, employment, and housing for all persons in the United States regardless of their race, color, gender, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, or disability. Employment opportunities in modern, technological societies are closely related to education; therefore, the League supports federal programs to increase the education and training of disadvantaged people. The League supports federal efforts to prevent and/or remove discrimination in education, employment, and housing and to help communities bring about racial integration of their school systems.

The League of Women Voters of the United States supports equal rights for all regardless of sex. The League supports action to bring laws into compliance with the ERA: a) to eliminate or amend those laws that have the effect of discriminating on the basis of sex; b) to promote laws that support the goals of the ERA; c) to strengthen the enforcement of such existing laws.

The League of Women Voters of the United States supports equal rights for all under state and federal law. LWVUS supports legalization to equalize the legal rights, obligations, and benefits available to same-gender couples with those available to heterosexual couples. LWVUS supports legislation to permit same-gender couples to marry under civil law. The League believes that the civil status of marriage is already clearly distinguished from the religious institution of marriage and that religious rights will be preserved.

(From page 68, Equality of Opportunity portion of the SOCIAL POLICY, in Impact on Issues, 2018-2020.)

LWVWA Has Taken Position to Oppose:
Initiative 976

Official Ballot Title: This measure would repeal, reduce, or remove authority to impose certain vehicle taxes and fees; limit annual motor-vehicle-license fees to $30, except voter-approved charges; and base vehicle taxes on Kelley Blue Book value. Should this measure be enacted into law?

Impact of Initiative 976

I-976 would be disastrous to transportation services in Washington State. It violates the League positions in that it would be unsound and would have a devastating financial effect on state and local jurisdictions’ ability to fund transportation, particularly transit. It impacts not only car tab fees (holding them to $30) but also affects a variety of other factors affecting transportation revenue.

The State transportation budget would lose more than $4 billion in the next six years.1 Currently, these fees are allocated to the State motor vehicle fund (70%) for use by counties, cities and towns; the State transportation improvement account (15%) for use by the state to improve mobility; and the State rural arterial trust account (15%) for construction and improvements to rural arterials and bridges. Among other things, these dollars can finance projects not eligible for funding by the gas tax.

Sound Transit finances2 include $1.24 billion budgeted ($1.34 billion actual) in 2018 from sales tax; and $312.2 million budgeted ($337.9 million actual) from motor vehicle excise tax. These are the top two financing sources for Sound Transit, at 60% and 15%, respectively, of the Sound Transit budget. The biggest financial impact of I-976 would be to reduce the sales tax revenue by 75%, with a smaller but significant decrease in the motor vehicle excise tax revenue.

Affected transportation organizations include much more than Sound Transit. Over 60 Transportation Benefit Districts (TBDs) receive revenue from vehicle license fees, and 55 TBDs use vehicle licenses fees as their sole funding source. In fiscal year 2018, vehicle license fees raised $58.2 million in revenue. The Association of WA Cities has an interactive tool that allows calculation of the impacts of I-976 for many local areas where there are transportation benefit districts. See http://datadatadata-awcnet.opendata.arcgis.com/pages/tbds.

LWVWA Board

  • Approved opposition to Initiative 976 at its August 12, 2019, Board meeting.

LWVWA and/or LWVUS Related Positions:

  • Revenue Position in Brief: Action to obtain a balanced tax structure that is fair, adequate, flexible, and has a sound economic effect.3
  • T-2: Transportation is an important basic public planning tool, and should be consistent with regional and local long-range growth management plans and adopted local land use plans.4
  • T-5: Effective transportation financing will require that any earmarking of funds should be statutory rather than constitutional. In addition, the Constitution should be changed to allow use of gas tax funds for balanced transportation. Funding for all modes of transportation should be adequate and predictable. Appropriations by the Legislature should follow cost/benefit budgetary review of alternative modes. The cost/benefit analysis should include transportation demand management strategies as well as financial incentives and disincentive programs that reduce solo trips and encourage transit and other transportation options.5


  1. The fiscal impact statement for I-976, prepared by the Washington Office of Financial Management, estimates that I-976 would result in a revenue loss to the state of $1.9 billion and a loss to local governments of $2.3 billion over the next 6 years following the measure's implementation.
  2. https://www.soundtransit.org/sites/default/files/documents/financial-performance-report-q4-2018.pdf
  3. Program in Action, p.18.
  4. Program in Action, p.21.
  5. Program in Action, p.21.

LWVWA Has Taken Position to Support:
Senate Joint Resolution No. 8200

Official Ballot Title: The legislature has proposed a constitutional amendment concerning legislative powers in times of emergency. This measure would add "catastrophic incidents" to the specified times of emergency that the legislature may take certain immediate actions to ensure continuity of state and local governmental operations.

Background Information

Article II section 42 of the Washington State Constitution provides the Legislature with the power to enact legislation in order to ensure continuity of state and local governmental operations during a period of an emergency resulting from enemy attack, that provides for prompt and temporary succession to the powers and duties of public offices when the incumbents and legal successors may become unavailable for carrying on the powers and duties of the offices.

Washington's Continuity of Government Act provides direction for the continuity of government and operations in the event of an attack taken against the United States in the state of Washington.   An "attack" means any act of warfare taken by an enemy of the United States causing substantial damage or injury to persons or property in the United States and the state of Washington. (Emphasis added).

The proposed amendment would add the language “catastrophic incident” to this section.

The bill passed both houses on an overwhelming bipartisan vote. It also passed all committees unanimously. No one testified against in either policy committee hearing.

Representative Goodman’s (sponsor of companion bill) video on SJR 8200 for TVW’s Video Voters’ Guide.

  • Key language: The amendment would add the words “a catastrophic incident or” immediately before “enemy attack” in the section outlining the plan for continuity of government.
  • The only other change is that it would replace the word “disaster” with “the emergency”
  • Link to Constitutional Amendment:
  • SOS site, above 
  • SJR 8200 bill page. This page includes links to the bill, rollcall votes (37-11 and 91-7) and the Final Bill Report.

Impact of SJR 8200

The intent of this constitutional amendment is to ensure that state and local governments can properly function after any type of major disruption.

This amendment is essential for us to prepare for incidents such as the inevitable Cascadia earthquake, catastrophic wildfires or a catastrophic pandemic. The reality is that these events will occur at some point in the future, bringing about such damage and disruption severe enough to interfere with government operations. State and local governments need to be better prepared to continue to operate after these catastrophic events. This would allow us to take action to plan for those important steps now.

There are many critical functions of government that must continue regardless of the circumstances. Of special importance to LWV is the ability to conduct elections. We are all familiar with the impact of hurricane Sandy on New Jersey elections, and the fact that they could be conducted only with the help of LWVNJ. While I’m sure we would be glad to step up in this Washington were ever in a similar situation, we certainly wouldn’t want our government to continue to function.

LWVWA Board
  • Approved support of SJR 8200 at its October 21, 2019, Board meeting.

LWVWA and/or LWVUS Related Positions:

Admittedly, the LWV has not studied the question as to whether we want government to continue to function. That is because it is taken as a given in our vision and mission statement and is fundamental to the work that we do.

The LWVUS principles state that “every citizen should be protected in the right to vote”. This certainly should extend to the ability to vote in the case of a natural disaster. Our principles also address our support for “representative government”, the exercise of “the powers of the government” and “efficient and economical government” and that “responsible government should be responsive to the will of the people.”



Posted 9/6/2019. Updated 10/29/19

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