Statewide Ballot Measures

Referendum 88

Referendum 88 is a public vote on I-1000, the affirmative action ballot measure signed by nearly 400,000 Washingtonians and approved by the Legislature this spring.

I-1000 would allow affirmative action policies in the areas of public education, public employment, and public contracting. It will restore fairness for veterans, small business owners, women, and people of color seeking to succeed in public employment, contracting, and university admissions – without the use of caps or quotas. Affirmative action, which is legal in 42 other states, will increase business contracts and college enrollment for women and people of color in Washington.

It's long past time to restore affirmative action in Washington. Vote to approve Initiative 1000.

Initiative 976

Initiative 976 is Tim Eyman's latest attempt to cut billions of dollars in funding from badly-needed transportation projects across the state. I-976 would derail our ability to fix dangerous roads, retrofit outdated bridges and overpasses, complete voter-approved light rail, provide transit for riders with disabilities, and more. More than $12 billion would be slashed from state and local projects with no plan for replacing any of the funding.

Every city and county in Washington depends on transportation infrastructure that would be impacted by the cuts from I-976. Vote NO on I-976!

Advisory Vote 20

Washington's senior population has doubled since 1980 and will double again by 2040. Most seniors cannot afford to pay out-of-pocket for the long-term medical care they need. A bipartisan group of lawmakers moved to build upon the state's Paid Family and Medical Leave program through Second Substitute House Bill 1087. This legislation created a new long-term insurance benefit that will address the looming crisis of seniors who cannot afford the care they need. Vote “Maintained” on Advisory Vote No. 20.

Advisory Vote 21

Legislators passed Engrossed Third Substitute House Bill 1324, also known as the Washington Rural Development and Distressed Opportunity Zone Act, which extends a business and occupation tax preference for timber companies. While this bill was intended to create jobs and support investment in rural areas, in practice it will primarily serve as an unnecessary tax cut for timber companies. Vote “Repealed” on Advisory Vote No. 21.

Advisory Vote 22

Washington is the latest state to adopt a recycling program for leftover architectural paint. The legislature passed Substitute House Bill 1652 to add a small recycling fee to the price of paint to fund the program. This law will ensure that hundreds of thousands of gallons of paint will be disposed of responsibly and no longer pollute our environment. Vote “Maintained” on Advisory Vote No. 22.

Advisory Vote 23

Manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers of vape products have not been paying regular tobacco taxes. The Legislature passed Engrossed Second Substitute House Bill 1873 to remedy this and create the Essential Public Health Services Account. Electronic cigarettes, electronic devices, and vape pens will now be classified and taxed as tobacco products. This account will fund health services, tobacco and vape product control and prevention, and enforcement by the state liquor and cannabis board to prevent the sale of vape products to minors. This legislation is even more important after several reports of lung injuries linked to vaping in Washington state as well as hundreds around the country. Vote “Maintained” on Advisory Vote No. 23.

Advisory Vote 24

The Legislature passed Engrossed Second Substitute House Bill 2158 to increase funding for higher education, including financial aid, raises for community college faculty, and a student loan program for middle-class students called the Washington College Grant. The Washington College Grant would replace the State Need Grant, which runs out of money every year and leaves thousands of eligible students without any money. The Workforce Education Investment Act is designed so that business who benefit the most highly-educated workers will contribute to the cost of higher education. Vote “Maintained” on Advisory Vote No. 24.

Advisory Vote 25

Washington's low-income families pay six times more in taxes than the wealthiest residents. To begin to balance our tax code, the legislature passed Substitute House Bill 2167 to increase the business and occupation tax on financial institutions that reported a net income of $1 billion or more during the previous calendar year. We think it's reasonable for these extremely profitable companies to pay a little more in taxes to support the services working families rely on. Vote “Maintained” on Advisory Vote No. 25.

Advisory Vote 26

Washington legislators have moved to update our tax laws in the wake of the Supreme Court decision that forced internet retailers to charge sales tax in all states. would Among other things, Substitute Senate Bill 5581 eliminates a tax advantage that out-of-state sellers long enjoyed over local companies. Vote “Maintained” on Advisory Vote No. 26.

Advisory Vote 27

Washington state has more than 13,000 known or suspected contaminated sites. The Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) became law in 1989 and has supported efforts to clean up more than 7,000 contaminated sites. The MTCA is funded by a voter-approved tax on hazardous substances such as petroleum products and pesticides. This year, the legislature passed Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5993 to update the law to improve transparency and increase funding for clean air, clean water, and toxic cleanup programs. Vote “Maintained” on Advisory Vote No. 27.

Advisory Vote 28

Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5997 closed a longstanding loophole that allowed many out-of-state shoppers to avoid paying sales tax in Washington. Visitors from states without a sales tax can still request a remittance from the Washington Department of Revenue. Vote “Maintained” on Advisory Vote No. 28.

Advisory Vote 29

This legislation is one step towards balancing our upside-down tax code by making Washington's real estate excise taxes (REET) progressive. Instead of a flat rate of 1.28 percent, property sales of less than $500,000 are reduced to a 1.1 percent tax rate, sales between $1.5 and $3 million would be taxed at 2.75 percent, and properties sold for more than $3 million would be taxed at 3 percent. All the funding from Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5998 will be dedicated to the Education Legacy Trust Account. Vote “Maintained” on Advisory Vote No. 29.

Advisory Vote 30

This legislation eliminates a tax break for travel agents and tour operators for businesses who earn $250,000 or more per year. Businesses that earn less than $250,000 will continue to pay the lower rate. Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 6004 will bring more revenue to the state and ensure that large out-of-state and online businesses pay their share. Vote “Maintained” on Advisory Vote No. 30.

Advisory Vote 31

This legislation passed Engrossed Senate Bill 6016 to reauthorize and narrow a sales tax exemption for certain international investment management companies. In order to receive the tax exemption, a business must have more than 25 percent of employees in the state, at least 500 full-time employees worldwide, and gross revenue of more than $400 million. Vote “Maintained” on Advisory Vote No. 31.

Constitutional Amendment 8200

This measure would allow the legislature to temporarily fill vacant public offices during an emergency by including "catastrophic incidents" like earthquakes or tsunamis in the definition of emergency powers. As Washington has been on high alert for an earthquake for years, legislators want to ensure governmental continuity in the event of massive damage from a natural disaster. While it is not pleasant to think about, Washington state needs to be prepared for a catastrophic event. This measure passed with bipartisan support. Vote "Approved" on Senate Joint Resolution No. 8200.

Yakima City Council

Yakima City Council, District #1

Eliana Macias photo

Eliana Macias is a dental assistant at the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic running for Yakima City Council in District 1. She believes District 1 needs more resources to improve public safety and Yakima needs more opportunities for youth. As the daughter of farmworkers, Macias says she wants to advance her vision for a stronger, more vibrant, and welcoming community.

Macias is running against far-right Trump supporter Kenton Gartrell. He has posted conspiracy theories and propaganda to his personal Facebook page. Macias is the strongest choice for District 1 and deserves your vote.

Yakima City Council, District #3

Patricia Byers photo

Patricia Byers is running for Yakima City Council in District 3. Byers is the chair of the City of Yakima Planning Commission and previously worked as the Yakima YMCA Professional Director and a mental health professional at Central Washington University. She also serves as an Ambassador for the Greater Yakima Chamber of Commerce and president of the Yakima Schools Foundation. She is running on a platform of smart budgeting so Yakima can have a strong economic future and increasing public safety, including near schools.

Byers is running against Thomas Sund, a retired funeral director. His campaign is emphasizing his twelve years working with law enforcement. If elected, Sund's priorities would be supporting police and firefighters and maintaining city streets.

Byers is the best choice for Yakima City Council, District 3.

Yakima City Council, District #5

Elizabeth Hallock photo

Small business owner and attorney Liz Hallock is running for Yakima City Council in District 5. Hallock is prioritizing improving government transparency and trust with low-income residents, as well as economic development and public safety. She has pledged to end the use of the Yakima Airport for ICE flights and wants to create a citizen police oversight board to restore the entire community's trust in the police force and encourage accountability.

Hallock is running against Soneya Lund, a small business owner and board member of the homeless youth-centered nonprofit Rod’s House. Lund is running to bring nearly 20 years of experience as a small business owner to focus on the city’s finances, bring in more small businesses, and improve council communication.

Hallock is the most progressive choice for Yakima City Council District 5.

Yakima City Council, District #7

Holly Cousens photo

Moderate Holly Cousens is running for re-election to the Yakima City Council in District 7. In addition to serving on the city council, Cousens teaches business technology at Yakima Valley College and works at Entrust Community Services. Cousens is running for another term in order to put more money into the city's reserve account and improve public safety and infrastructure.

Cousens is being challenged by Tracey Bautista, an independent foreign currency trader running to promote open government, improve quality of life, and attract businesses to Yakima. If elected, Bautista's priorities would be gang prevention efforts and teaching financial literacy to communities of color.

Holly Cousens has been a solid city council member and is the best choice for Yakima City Council in District 7.

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