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By Brian Stimson of The Skanner News
Published: 03 November 2010

In Washington state, voters delivered approvals and disapprovals to a number of ballot initiatives, but largely supported measures that retain the status quo.

Despite repealing similar voter-backed measures, legislators will now – again – have to get a two-thirds supermajority or voter approval for any tax increase. Voters approved Initiative 1053 by 66 percent, with 62 percent of precincts reporting.

Voters failed to approve Initiative 1082, which would have created a panel tasked with creating legislation that would have privatized industrial insurance – changing the way the state administers worker's compensation insurance.

The rich can also breathe a sigh of relief. Initiative 1098, that would have created a tax on income above $200,000 for indivuals or $400,000 for couples, failed by a landslide. About 65 percent of voters decided against it.

Two initiatives that would have taken liquor sales out of the hands of the state and put it into private stores both failed to garner enough votes. Backers for Initiatives 1100 and 1105 failed to persuade voters that their privatization of liquor stores was sound fiscal policy or a good public safety idea.

At the same time, voters overwhelmingly approved the removal of "sin" taxes on candy and soda with the passage of Initiative 1107. The recently approved 2010 tax amendments had imposed taxes on candy, bottled water and carbonated beverages.

A plan that would have created a $500 million bond project to provide energy efficiency to schools failed. Despite the promise to create 40,000 jobs, voters rejected Bill 52 by 56 to 43 percent.

A narrow margin of voters approved SJR 8225, a constitutional amendment that makes General Obligation Bonds eligible for federal subsidy, altering the amount the amount of debt the state can accrue.

And finally, with the shooting of four police officers in Federal Way fresh in their minds, voters approved HJR 4220, which allows judges to deny the bail of people accused of committing certain violent acts or those facing the possibility of life in prison for third strike crimes.


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