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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 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 I-976 would derail our ability to fix dangerous roads, retrofit outdated bridges and overpasses, complete voter-approved light rail, provide transit for riders with disabilities, and more.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!
Because of a Tim Eyman initiative, the Legislature is required to submit any bill it passes that closes tax loopholes or raises revenue to a non-binding advisory vote. The Legislature had a historically productive 2019 session, resulting in a record number of advisory votes on the ballot. We hope the Legislature will change the law to remove these meaningless measures in the future.
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.
Legislators passed Engrossed Third Substitute House Bill 1324, also known as the Washington Rural Development and Distressed Opportunity Zone Act, that extends a business and occupation tax preference for timber companies. In addition, part of HB 1324 raises a small amount of revenue from timber companies for salmon recovery, which is what led to Advisory Vote 21. While the salmon recovery provision is laudable, HB 1324 will primarily serve as an unnecessary tax cut for timber companies at a time when we need to be investing more in affordable housing, education, health care, and other priorities. Vote “Repealed” on Advisory Vote No. 21.
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.
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.
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 businesses that benefit the most from a highly-educated workforce will contribute to the cost of higher education. Vote “Maintained” on Advisory Vote No. 24.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Incumbent Dave Somers is running unopposed for re-election for Snohomish County Executive. Somers has supported measures to create parks and open spaces, ushered in commercial air service to Paine Field, invested in alternative fuels, and worked on salmon recovery. He also supported working with nonprofits to “un-develop” land in the county and restore it to its natural state with native plants. This year, Somers announced that he would be developing a Snohomish County Housing Task Force to help meet the affordable housing needs of the community through new policies or incentives, including middle-income, subsidized, and alternative housing.
Somers deserves your vote.
Environment: Washington Conservation VotersOther: Snohomish County Democrats, Everett Firefighters
Ty Trenary is running for re-election for Snohomish County Sheriff on his record of finding alternatives to incarceration. He states that the Snohomish County Jail should not serve as the largest mental health facility in the county, and that traditional policing is not effective against the county's opioid and mental health issues. Instead, Trenary has created the Office of Neighborhoods program, which pairs social workers with police officers to help those struggling with addiction on the streets. The program also helps those who are struggling to find work. If re-elected, he will continue to focus on community policing and accountability.
Trenary is being challenged by his sergeant, Adam Fortney, who is focusing on increasing arrests and enforcement. Trenary has been endorsed by a broad slate of Democratic state representatives and elected officials and is the best choice in this race.
Brian Sullivan is running for Snohomish County Treasurer after being term-limited from running again for the Snohomish County Council. A small business owner and former chair of the Finance and Economic Committee, Sullivan has worked to promote the economy of Snohomish County and support living wages for all. After first being elected to public office at the age of 23, Sullivan has served in a variety of roles including in the state House, where he was recognized as an environmental champion, as Mukilteo's mayor, and as a Mukilteo City Council member. A strong advocate for rainy day funds while on the county council, Sullivan is running to bring his decades of budget experience to the treasurer’s office while making it more transparent and better suited to serve vulnerable residents like seniors and working families.
He faces Marysville City Councilman Rob Toyer, who previously ran as a Republican for Legislature against Hans Dunshee. Sullivan is the best choice in this race.
Edirin Okoloko was appointed to the Snohomish County Superior Court, Position 7 by Governor Inslee and is running to retain his position. Okoloko dedicated his career to cases involving homicide, sexual assault, child abuse, and elder abuse as a deputy prosecuting attorney in the Snohomish County Prosecuting Attorney's Office. Before his work as a prosecutor, Okoloko was a judicial law clerk for former Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Michael Downes. He has numerous endorsements from Snohomish County, including the Snohomish County Democrats, Congresswoman Suzan DelBene, and Snohomish County Prosecuting Attorney Adam Cornell. Okoloko is running to retain Position 7 to maintain a sense of dignity, civility, and courtesy in the courts.
Okoloko is running against Everett lawyer Anna Alexander. Alexander is most known for defending persons accused of serious crimes. She is the president of Snohomish County Washington Women Lawyers but is not running a robust campaign.
Okoloko deserves your vote for Snohomish County Superior Court Position 7.
Paul Thompson was appointed to Snohomish County Superior Court, Position 14 by Governor Inslee in 2018 and is running to retain his position. He has worked as a Public Defender in Eastern Washington and a trial attorney with the Snohomish County Public Defender's Office. Thompson has been a leader in the legal community by serving as president of the Washington Defender Association and a board member of the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Thompson is determined to use his judicial position to make a difference in the lives of those who have struggled with lack of access to justice, and is calling for the thoughtful collaboration of Snohomish County stakeholders on improving the high cost of litigation, funding the mental health system, reforming the bail system, and tackling outdated mandatory sentencing restrictions. Thompson is endorsed by numerous progressive elected officials and organizations.
Thompson is being challenged by Cassandra Lopez-Shaw, a lawyer who has operated her firm since 2011. Lopez-Shaw has previously worked in the Whatcom Public Defender's Office and the Snohomish County Public Defender's Association.
While Lopez-Shaw does have impressive past experience, we believe Judge Thompson is the best choice for Snohomish County Superior Court, Position 14.
Jon Nehring is running for re-election for Mayor of Marysville. Nehring has served as mayor since 2010 and spent eight years on the Marysville City Council, including four years as mayor pro tem. He has emphasized improving transportation and public safety in his time as mayor, including starting a partnership between the City of Arlington and Snohomish County to partner social workers and police officers to connect with individuals in encampments.
Nehring is being challenged by Michael Patrick, who is running largely because Nehring was unopposed in his previous campaign, not because they disagree on the issues.
While Nehring is not extremely progressive, we believe he's the best choice in this race.
Planning Commissioner Kelly Richards is running for Marysville City Council, Position 5. He is a pro-growth candidate supportive of creating well-paying jobs by expanding the Manufacturing Industrial Center in North Marysville. Richards says Marysville has been a leader in finding solutions to challenges in their community and wants to continue efforts to make the city a great place to “live, work, shop and raise a family.”
Richards is running against former Marysville City Councilmember Jeff Siebert. His previous experience on the city council was marked by ending talks with the Regional Fire Authority (RFA) overpayment for fire equipment as he was exiting the council in 2017.
Richards is the best choice in this race.
There are no great choices for Marysville City Council, Position 6. Incumbent Councilmember Stephen Muller was first elected in 2012 and previously served on the Marysville Planning Commission for 12 years. He does not have a strong campaign presence and appears to be a moderate Republican who prioritizes financial sustainability and public safety. Muller's challenger is Katherine Iverson, a libertarian who wants to remove city code restrictions on accessory dwelling units (ADUs) and supports "reduction in the size and scope of our city code where ever possible". We recommend writing in a more progressive candidate for Marysville City Council, Position 6.
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