Six Statewide Initiatives Dominate Discussions in Olympia

In a Presidential election year when voters will be also be electing a new Governor in Washington State, conversations in Olympia will more likely be centered on six initiatives expected to land in front of voters. That is the general consensus of leaders who met in Spokane in December as part of a Legislative Forum. From Police Pursuits to Carbon Taxes, here are the six ballot measure generating the most discussion.

Initiative 2113 Reasonable Police Pursuit

This measure would remove certain restrictions on when peace officers may engage in vehicular pursuits. Such pursuits would be allowed when the officer has a reasonable suspicion a person has violated the law, pursuit is necessary to identify or apprehend the person, the person poses a threat to the safety of others, those safety risks are greater than those of the pursuit, and a supervisor authorizes the pursuit.

Initiative 2117 Remove the State’s Carbon Emission Tax

This measure would prohibit state agencies from imposing any type of carbon tax credit trading, including “cap and trade” or “cap and tax” programs, regardless of whether the resulting increased costs are imposed on fuel recipients or fuel suppliers. It would repeal sections of the 2021 Washington Climate Commitment Act as amended, including repealing the creation and modification of a “cap and invest” program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by specific entities.

Initiative 2124 – Opt Out of Long Term Care Tax

This measure would amend state law establishing a state long term care insurance program to provide that employees and self-employed people must elect to keep coverage under RCW 50B.04, allow employees to opt-out of coverage under RCW 50B.04 at any time, and repeal a current law governing exemptions for employees who had purchased long term care insurance before November 1, 2021.

Initiative 2109 – Repeal the Capital Gains Tax

This measure would repeal an excise tax imposed on the sale or exchange of certain long-term capital assets by individuals who have annual capital gains of over $250,000.

Initiative 2111 – No State Income Tax

This measure would prohibit the state, counties, cities, and other local jurisdictions from imposing or collecting income taxes, defined as having the same meaning as “gross income” in the Internal Revenue Code.

Initiative 2081 – Parental Rights and Parental Notification

This measure would allow parents and guardians of public-school children to review instructional materials and inspect student records, including health and disciplinary records, upon request. It would require public schools to provide parents and guardians with certain notifications, including about medical services given and when students are taken off campus; access to calendars and certain policies; and written notice and opportunities to opt students out of comprehensive sexual-health education and answering certain surveys or assignments.

Initiative supporters have until December 29th to gather the needed signatures to ensure these make it to the ballot.