Repealing I-1351

The Legislature doesn't like what the voters want. Really?

From The Olympian: Legislature Might Send I-1351 Back to Voters.

So wait, does this work for ANY unfunded initiative?  Because we could talk about others like I-1240.

Also, how much would this repeal election cost taxpayers?

A couple of choices for the Legislature:

Read more here:
1) House budget writer Ross Hunter, D-Medina, said his preference would be for the Legislature to amend or suspend I-1351 without a public vote, but he agreed it could be difficult to summon the two-thirds majority required in the Legislature to do so.

2) As a backup plan, Hunter said he also is researching how lawmakers might send I-1351 back to voters.

Sen. Andy Hill, R-Redmond, said referring a “corrected version” of I-1351 back to voters is one tool he and other lawmakers are considering as they craft a new two-year budget. 

If the Legislature goes that route, Hunter said he would want to ask voters to approve one of two options: Either repeal I-1351, or enact an amended version of the initiative that includes a funding source.

Legally speaking:

The process is clearly laid out in Article II of the state constitution, said Hugh Spitzer, a lawyer who teaches constitutional law at the University of Washington. Through a referendum bill, lawmakers could propose changes to the initiative and ask voters to approve them, or they could ask voters to just get rid of the law, he said.

It doesn’t appear as if the Legislature has tried something like this before.

The Secretary of State’s elections division “has no record of this occurring” in state history, said agency spokesman David Ammons.

Read more here:

But it's all about money.

The state Supreme Court has made it clear that the Legislature can’t eliminate parts of the state’s definition of basic education for merely financial reasons, Hunter said. Lawmakers need to consider whether that limits their ability to tweak I-1351, he said.

“You’d have to replace it with some investment that has better educational outcomes,” Hunter said.

Read more here:

Read more here:

Rich Wood, spokesman for the Washington Education Association, said the state Supreme Court would look harshly on lawmakers if they try to change I-1351.

Read more here:

Read more here:

Read more here:
 “Instead of trying to find ways to thwart the will of the voters, the Legislature should focus on providing our kids with the smaller class sizes that they deserve, and the law requires.”

Yet both Hunter and Hill said they can readily think of better – and cheaper – ways to improve public education than the plan laid out in I-1351. 

While Hill wouldn’t say exactly how he’d like to change the law, he said lowering K-3 class sizes and expanding all-day kindergarten makes sense, as does investing more money in preschool programs and higher education.

“I would argue, yes, there is a better way to spend that money,” Hill said.

Read more here:

Wouldn't say "exactly say how he's like to change the law?"

NO one should be talking about this without revealing their own great plan for public education AND how to pay for it. 

Read more here:

The Legislature also doesn't like what the Supreme Court wants them to do.

And, by the way, HOW is that work going on McCleary because I am astonished at the number of bills coming out of the Legislature when Job#1 is clearly McCleary.


Watching said…

Meanwhile,Santa Ana Unified is among the school districts leading the charge to force California to pay for a new statewide testing system that they say could collectively cost districts $1 billion every year:

It is amazing- the legislature is great at passing unfunded initiatives, but ignores the will of the voters. Common Core will cost an enormous amounts of dollars and will be gone in five years.
Anonymous said…
"And, by the way, HOW is that work going on McCleary because I am astonished at the number of bills coming out of the Legislature when Job#1 is clearly McCleary."

I agree completely.

David Edelman
Eric B said…
Actually, sending 1351 back to voters with a funding source wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. I don't necessarily like the "1351 is an inefficient way to do things" line of reasoning. but it would show what is or is not supported by the people. Kind of like how gun background checks weren't welcome in the Legislature, but passed 60-40 statewide in a public vote.

Once the costs are real and known, people will be able to take a look and see if it's worth it to them. It also takes away the "budget-buster that makes our work too hard" argument as well. The anti-tax folks will still vote against it, but I would expect that this would be pretty close. The only thing I'm worried about is that they'll attach it to a tax of marginal constitutionality (like a graduated income tax) or marginal popularity (like a sales tax).
Anonymous said…
Bring it on. We'll pass 1351 by an even wider margin, with a whopping capital gains tax attached to fund it.

-- Ivan Weiss
Eric, if we send back 1351 to the voter, then either the law on initiatives has to be changed (and apparently there is a bill to do this) and/or ALL recent initiatives go back to the voters.

It is just patently unfair to pick and choose what you don't like (or want to spend money on).

Class size IS part of basic education funding and,therefore, is part of McCleary. They are not getting away from it even if they overturn 1351. But 1351 is also about counselors, nurses and librarians.

Also, it's a very slippery slope, nay, a cliff to say you will ignore the will of voters. Because next time it will be something near and dear to the heart of some legislator and that person will have no one to blame but his/herself.

So again, there are those in the Legislature who think voters are:

- too dumb to vote for all the Seattle School Board members

- not thinking of the costs of initiatives but willy, nilly voting their hearts. (Even as the costs were prominently talked about during the campaign.)

Anonymous said…
I like Ivan's proposal if it comes down to this absurd game of chicken but the voters were clear the first time, and the second time. An income tax is the only solution.

Just Saying said…
Why is the legislature pouring millions of dollars into charter schools and we don't know whether or not they are constitutional? Why wouldn't the legislature send I 1240 back to the people?

Just Saying, that's my question as well.

If they start with 1351, where does this kind of thinking start and where does it end? And who decides (because, increasingly, voters are being told their vote is invalid or was made poorly).
Anonymous said…
Too bad teachers and districts can't do the same. We didn't see an increase in our pay for the extra 80 hours of instruction added next year, and I've heard nothing of support for the additional space that will be required when core 24 goes into effect. Never mind senior projects and the multitude other unfounded mandates the state has thrown at districts over the years.

Wishful thinking
The Legislature is going out of its way to avoid meeting its obligations under the McCleary decision and I-1351. Democrats think they can do this because Republicans are foot-dragging too. But Republicans are just setting up an attack on Dems in 2016 for not having gotten the funding done.
dan dempsey said…
Speaking of ignoring....

At each party convention the Deems and Repubs each gave thumbs down to Common Core......

That guidance is apparently also ignored.
Anonymous said…
Hello !! this makes perfect sense - legislators are NOT afraid of working stiffs, so, why should they give a frak what we want?

80? 95%++ of us lowly under $100,000 a year serfs are evaluated every year, and usually a lot more than once a year.

How are legislators evaluated? The highly paid, non working stiff politically active in the unions and ____ organizations fight tooth and nail to elbow competitors outta the way of those coveted photo ops and Big! Meetings!!

Instead of EVERY year unions supporting 20 or 40 primary challengers, union "leaders" grovel for their seats-at-the-table and reward the entrenched for their crap policies benefiting the rich on community investment. WHY should the entrenched

Anonymous said…
When I voted for this "unfunded" mandate I knew exactly what I was doing. I was telling our elected officials "I don't like the way you spend my hard earned dollar. You spend it on a ton of pet projects that do nothing for my family but your rich cronies benefit. I want you to divert money from things that don't matter and fund this initiative" In other words "DO YOUR JOBS AND ESTABLISH A BUDGET THAT INCLUDES SMALLER CLASS SIZES" whether you voted yes or not, ALL people should be outraged that the State could care less about the will of the people.

Popular posts from this blog

Tuesday Open Thread

Seattle Public Schools and Their Principals

COVID Issues Heating up for Seattle Public Schools