Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

At least two initiatives likely to be on Washington State's November ballot

Washington State Secretary of Sam Reed's office announced in a media advisory on Friday that it is expecting sponsors of two progressive initiative campaigns to submit a substantial number of signatures this week - enough to ensure that both initiatives have a high probability of qualifying for the November 2008 ballot.

Proponents of Initiative 1000, the Death with Dignity initiative championed by Booth Gardner, will turn in their final batch of signatures this Wednesday, July 2nd, shortly after midday, and SEIU Healthcare 775 NW, which is sponsoring Initiative 1029 (to require increased training requirements for long term care workers), will turn in an estimated 300,000 signatures on Thursday, July 3rd, in the afternoon.

Reed's office says Tim Eyman has not made an appointment to turn in more signatures for Initiative 985, which would open carpool lanes at almost all hours of the day and divert state money to duplicate services the state already offers (like roadside assistance crews and synchronized traffic lights).

July 3rd is the last day Eyman may submit signatures.

In addition to I-1029 and I-1000, voters in urban Pierce, King, and Snohomish counties may be considering a transportation package from Sound Transit, which has until mid-August to decide to present a proposal.

Recent research conducted by Sound Transit suggests the public is heavily in favor of a 2008 vote on expanding mass transit and Link light rail. The 6,077 individuals who responded to Sound Transit's questionnaires over the last few months were mostly in agreement about how the agency should proceed:
  • 91% say it's extremely or somewhat urgent to expand mass transit
  • 81% say it's extremely or somewhat urgent to add more light rail
  • 81% say it's extremely or somewhat urgent to add more commuter rail
  • 81% say it's extremely or somewhat urgent to add more express bus
  • 76% favor a 2008 vote
  • 10% favor a 2010 vote
  • 3% favor a post-2010 vote
The seventy six percent figure in favor of a 2008 vote is remarkably consistent with a scientific telephone poll conducted of eight hundred and nineteen registered voters in February earlier this year, which asked the following question:
The Sound Transit Board of Directors will soon decide whether or not to put a transit expansion measure on the ballot in November of this year. In general, do you strongly favor, somewhat favor, somewhat oppose or strongly oppose putting a transit expansion measure on the ballot in November of two thousand eight?
Results were as follows:
Favor: 75% (47% strongly favor + 28% somewhat in favor)
Oppose: 22% (9% somewhat opposed + 13% strongly opposed)
Undecided: 3%
An earlier poll conducted by Sound Transit last November following the defeat of Proposition 1 found that over seventy percent of respondents wanted a separate vote on transit expansion. The more recent responses suggest the electorate is enthusiastic and ready to vote on a proposal this year, rather than waiting until 2010, when construction costs will have increased.


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