Is Initiative 1366 a Constitutional Amendment?

The Office of Financial Management’s fiscal impact statement for I-1366 also makes it clear the Legislature is provided a choice: “The initiative presents the Legislature with a choice that leads to two possible and mutually exclusive scenarios.”

Efforts Underway to Block Eyman Blackmail Initiative

Amending the state constitution cannot be done through the initiative process, yet Eyman’s “2/3-For-Taxes Constitutional Amendment Initiative” seeks to do just that. That makes Eyman’s initiative illegal.

Washington Counties Struggle with Criminal-Justice Costs

Paying for the costs of prosecuting a big criminal case can drain the budget of a small county, and records show the state has little to offer in the way of help. The cost of prosecuting Christopher Monfort — who was convicted of killing Seattle police Officer Tim Brenton, firebombing police vehicles and trying to kill other officers in 2009 — had reached $5 million by the end of 2014. When his trial costs are totaled, that number will rise dramatically, officials said.

Nonbinding Vote Ahead on State Gas-Tax Increase

The public will vote Nov. 3 on whether to raise Washington’s gas tax, but its decision won’t change anything. The tax will have already gone up by 7 cents a gallon by then. It’s because of a voter-passed 2007 Tim Eyman initiative that requires advisory votes for all tax increases.

The States Public Pension Funding Gap Is Approaching $1 Trillion

The gap between the benefits promised and funding available to state retirement systems rose by about 6 percent to $968 billion in 2013, the latest year for which data is available. That number is likely skewed a little high because it’s weighed down by losses from the Great Recession and hasn’t yet factored in some of the gains from the recovery. But even those gains will do little to offset that shortfall.