This November, your ballot will be longer than you may be expecting. In addition to the candidates for national, state, and local offices, you’ll see three initiatives on your ballot. Last year, a multimillionaire hedge fund manager paid over $6 million dollars to signature collectors to qualify six initiatives to the legislature, three of which will be on your ballot this fall. Here’s what you need to know.

The Legislature Passed Three of the Six Measures Last Session

When initiatives are sent to the legislature, lawmakers can choose to pass them, offer an alternative, or do nothing and send them to the November ballot. This past legislative session, lawmakers chose to pass three of the six proposed initiatives:

  • I-2081 restates rights parents already have to get involved in their child’s schooling.
  • I-2111 bans an income tax, which is already prohibited in Washington.
  • I-2113 weakens rules on police pursuits that have reduced deaths caused by police pursuits by 75%.

These three initiatives make minimal changes to existing law, and passing them quickly makes it easier for the legislature to amend them if unintended consequences arise. Passing these less substantive initiatives centers the political spotlight and resources on the other three, which could have devastating consequences for school funding, environmental protections, and long-term care access in our state if passed.

The Initiatives on Your Ballot This Fall

The legislature chose not to act on the other three initiatives, which means they will appear on your ballot this fall. These would have a massive impact on our state budget and quality of life in Washington:

  • I-2109 would repeal the capital gains tax, a 7% excise tax on stock market profits greater than $250,000. In its first year, the capital gains tax raised $900 million in yearly funding for school construction, childcare, early learning, and K-12 education in our state. Only 0.2% of Washingtonians pay this tax, but the revenue it generates benefits children, parents, and communities across the state.
  • I-2117 would repeal the Climate Commitment Act, which sets a cap on total carbon emissions in our state and fines those who pollute egregiously. The revenue from the Climate Commitment Act funds public transit, wildfire prevention, weatherization and rebates on energy efficient appliances to help families make their homes more energy efficient, air pollution mitigation, and more. This funding helps our state switch to lower-cost, more sustainable infrastructure, providing well-paying jobs to many across the state in the process.
  • I-2124 would eliminate funding for WA Cares, a program that provides guaranteed, affordable access to long-term care. 70% of us will require long-term care as we age, and WA Cares provides guaranteed, affordable home care, access to residential treatment, meal support, and more to those who need it.

The passage of any of these three initiatives would be devastating to the overwhelming majority of residents in our state, who benefit from education, childcare, climate protections, transportation infrastructure, long-term care, and more. These initiatives would cut taxes for our state’s wealthiest few and directly harm everyone else.

This November, vote NO on all three initiatives to protect funding for education, climate protection and sustainable infrastructure, and access to long-term care.