NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate provides the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2024

Initiative 2109 (repealing billions of dollars in education funding) gets certified

The fourth of six sub­mit­ted ini­tia­tives to the 2024 Wash­ing­ton State Leg­is­la­ture spon­sored by Repub­li­can State Par­ty Chair Jim Walsh and fund­ed by right wing mul­ti­mil­lion­aire Bri­an Hey­wood was cer­ti­fied today, which means it is des­tined for the Novem­ber 2024 bal­lot for approval or rejec­tion by voters.

Ini­tia­tive 2109 would erad­i­cate near­ly $900 mil­lion a year in fund­ing from Washington’s K‑12 schools, ear­ly learn­ing, and child­care to give a tax cut to the very wealth­i­est Wash­ing­to­ni­ans… the 0.2% of the state’s res­i­dents with huge for­tunes. Mean­ing mul­ti­mil­lion­aires like Bri­an Hey­wood, who by his own admis­sion moved from Cal­i­for­nia to Wash­ing­ton in part because he want­ed to live in a tax haven for the rich and is upset about hav­ing to pay dues to sup­port our kids.

Accord­ing to the Sec­re­tary of State’s Elec­tions Divi­sion, 26,611 pages of sig­na­tures were received for I‑2109, con­tain­ing 436,474 lines.

324,516 valid sig­na­tures are cur­rent­ly required to qual­i­fy a statewide initiative.

Ini­tia­tive 2109 had a suf­fi­cient cush­ion of extra sig­na­tures to qual­i­fy for a ran­dom sam­ple check as allowed by state law, which con­sist­ed of 13,095 signatures.

Of those, 10,752 were accept­ed and 2,343 were reviewed. 2,324 sig­na­tures were deter­mined to be invalid, and nine­teen were deter­mined to be duplicate.

Sec­re­tary Hobbs today trans­mit­ted a cer­ti­fi­ca­tion mes­sage to the Leg­is­la­ture affixed with the state seal, advis­ing of I‑2109’s qualification.

Leg­isla­tive staff have giv­en I‑2109 its own bill-style page on leg.wa.gov.

The bal­lot title for I‑2109 is as follows:

Ini­tia­tive Mea­sure No. 2109 con­cerns taxes.

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.

Should this mea­sure be enact­ed into law? Yes [ ] No [ ]

The sum­ma­ry is as follows:

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.

Leg­is­la­tors have three choic­es as to how to respond to I‑2109:

  • Do noth­ing, in which case it goes to voters
  • Adopt the mea­sure into law
  • Send it to the Novem­ber 2024 bal­lot with an alternative

NPI oppos­es Ini­tia­tive 2109 and is work­ing for the mea­sure’s defeat. Because the chances of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic-con­trolled Leg­is­la­ture approv­ing I‑2109 are pret­ty much nonex­is­tent, it will be get­ting for­ward­ed auto­mat­i­cal­ly to the bal­lot, as men­tioned above. NPI’s Stop Greed project is urg­ing a no vote on I‑2109; if you’d like to sup­port this effort, you can donate to Stop Greed here using Act­Blue.

“After fail­ing in the leg­is­la­ture, fail­ing to qual­i­fy for the bal­lot last year, los­ing in the Wash­ing­ton Supreme Court, and los­ing in the U.S. Supreme Court, a mega-mil­lion­aire is mak­ing a last-ditch attempt to buy him­self a tax break with this ini­tia­tive,” said Trea­sure Mack­ley, exec­u­tive direc­tor of Invest in Wash­ing­ton Now. “Poll after poll shows the cap­i­tal gains tax is over­whelm­ing­ly pop­u­lar because Wash­ing­to­ni­ans want the super rich to pay what they owe our communities.”

“Last year the wealth­i­est Wash­ing­to­ni­ans raked in near­ly $13 bil­lion in prof­its off of stocks, and paid a mod­est 7% tax on those prof­its to raise near­ly $900 mil­lion for schools, child­care and ear­ly learn­ing. We will not allow a mega-mil­lion­aire to grab this mon­ey from Washington’s kids just to enrich his wealthy friends.”

We agree and we invite you to join us in vot­ing NO on I‑2109 lat­er this year.

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