Politics & Government

Initiatives get names in time for deadline

The deadline for turning in signatures for statewide citizen initiatives qualifying for the November ballot is 5 p.m. today.

Backers of three proposals – dealing with transportation tolls, training for home care workers and liquor privatization – have appointments to bring in signatures for counting at the state elections offices in Olympia.

A long-shot effort to legalize marijuana also has scheduled a turn-in, but organizers say it’s looking unlikely that they’ll have enough signatures by today.

Meanwhile, organizers have halted a measure, Initiative 1130, that sought to impose new cage-free rules for most egg-laying hens in the state. A national agreement between egg producers and animal-safety activists led to the withdrawal, even though they said they had 355,000 signatures.

To qualify for the Nov. 8 ballot, at least 241,153 valid voter signatures are required to be submitted by today.

The measures going forward for signature counting include:

 • I-1125: It proposes to limit the use of funds collected by tolls from highways and bridges. It is backed by Tim Eyman and funded mainly with $500,000 from Bellevue-area developer Kemper Freeman. The Washington Roundtable, which represents executive officers for major Northwest firms, is already opposed to the measure, believing it foils revenue-collection efforts from tolling.

 • I-1163: It would reinstate training, background checks and other requirements for homecare workers that voters approved just a few years ago in a similar initiative. Lawmakers did not fund the previous measure, so Service Employees International Union 775 NW is back with this proposal. The political committee, People for Quality, Efficient and Accountable Home Care, has raised $1.36 million from SEIU Healthcare 775NW and spent $278,371.

 • I-1183: Backed by Costco, restaurants and grocers, this proposes to end the state-run monopoly on the sale and distribution of liquor. The measure is less sweeping than the Costco-backed measure that voters rejected last year, but it would open the door for liquor sales in large warehouse stores and end the state’s wholesale distribution monopoly. Backers say it would generate money for the state.

Staff writer Jordan Schrader contributed to this report.

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