Tue, Jul 16, 2019
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Willapa Harbor Herald • Town Crier
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State Ballot Measures proposed for the General Election

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In the lead-up to ballots being mailed out this month for the November General Election, below are some common arguments for and against ballot measures being proposed at the state level.

Initiative 1351

Title: "This measure would direct the legislature to allocate funds to reduce class sizes and increase staffing support for students in all K-12 grades, with additional class-size reductions and staffing increases in high-poverty schools."

For:

Will decrease class sizes in kindergarten through third grade to no more than 15 to 17 students, and in grades 4 through 12 to no more than 22 to 25 students.

Will create an estimated 15,000 new teaching positions state-wide.

Would impact high-poverty schools first during a four-year implementation process.

Against:

Would increase state expenditures by an estimated $4.7 billion through 2019, based on current trends in K-12 education.

Does not establish funding mechanisms to support the increase but simply mandates the state pay for the services outlined in the bill.

Smaller class sizes on their own will not solve the state's education problems.

Initiative 591

Title: "This measure would prohibit government agencies from confiscating guns or other firearms from citizens without due process, or from requiring background checks on firearm recipients unless a uniform national standard is required."

For:

Upholds constitutionally-protected rights to bear arms and against search and seizure without due process.

Would have no fiscal impact on state or local budgets.

Against:

Abolishes background check standards not supported by national standards, including checks for those with mental illness.

Does not reduce likelihood if illegal transactions.

Initiative 594

Title: "This measure would apply currently-used criminal and public safety background checks by licensed dealers to all firearm sales and transfers, including gun show and online sales, with specific exceptions."

For:

Does not change existing background check system, but applies it to private transactions, sales through gun shows and the internet, and other unregulated acquisition methods.

Reduces opportunities for the illegal acquisition of firearms by those prohibited from owning them.

Gifts between family, antique sales, and loans for self-defense and hunting or sporting would remain exempt from background checks.

Against:

Has the ability to limit rights guaranteed in the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Would not stop the illegal transfer of firearms to those prohibited from acquiring them.

Does not provide a funding mechanism to pay for the additional services required for implementation.

Would burden law enforcement agencies charged with conducting additional background checks.

Advisory Vote No. 8

Title: "The legislature eliminated, through Senate Bill 6505, without a vote of the people, agricultural excise tax preferences for various aspects of the marijuana industry, costing an estimated $24,903,000 in the first ten years, for government spending."

For:

Maintaining the tax would restore funding from various marijuana sales to the state budget.

Against:

Repealing the tax would allow developers more funding to grow the state's marijuana industry.

Advisory Vote No. 9

Title: "The legislature imposed, through Engrossed Substitute House Bill 1287, without a vote of the people, the leasehold excise tax on certain leasehold interests in tribal property, costing an estimated $1,298,000 in the first ten years, for government spending."

For:

Maintaining the tax would generate new funding from certain leasehold excise taxes.

Against:

Repealing the tax would prevent property tax rates from increasing for holders of certain tribal property.

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