When Colorado passed a similar law to I-1033, that state dropped from 29th to 48th in rank for prenatal care. That means less care for moms and babies! Boo.
The Arc of Washington just published its position: I-1033 will hurt budgets for people with developmental disabilities. My comment: DD group homes just got a 3% funding cut from the state. The average pay is under $10 with few or no benefits and the average turnover in care provider positions is 47%. Do we want to lock ourselves into this demonstrably inadequate budget? Similar situations apply throughout DSHS, were the state has been underpaying human services providers for decades.
I watched Tim Eyman debate on KING last night. He’s glib with answers such as, “Oh, they’re not locked in. This state has flexibility. The legislature can go back to the voters for an increase any time.” Because Eyman has defined any increase in a fee or budgetary fund as a tax increase, the legislature is hamstrung in efforts to prioritize and balance the budget. Going back to voters is expensive and causes about a two-year delay. Who will pay to educate millions of voters to the cost-benefit tradeoffs of these measures? That’s why we have a representative form of government, so our legislators can specialize in state programs and budget tradeoffs. It’s unfair and unrealistic to expect the public to understand and vote intelligently on the level of detail Eyman expects. I-1033 is really a cynical measure to strangle government.
Messaging is important. Most voters would want to know that I-1033 takes “excess” sales tax money that everyone pays and returns it only to property owners, 60% of us. Renters will not see a penny. Anyone who got a rent decrease when property taxes (or utilities or other costs) went down, please raise your hand. Oh. Not? Do you realize that 40% of the property owners are commercial property owners? Do you think there’s a reason that Kemper Freeman, owner of Bellevue Square, is one of the main funders of this initiative? This is a “take from the poor and middle class and give it to the rich” initiative.
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