There’s a well-funded threat to the common-sense revenue Washington lawmakers raised this year rather than relying solely on budget cuts. That revenue protected many vital services that support children, families and seniors; health care, education and the environment; labor, low-income people and communities of color.
The Children’s Alliance played a leading role in the successful push for taxing candy and soda. Now a potential ballot measure jeopardizes more than $200 million of the revenue that we and other advocates fought so hard to raise. We’re urging people to decline to sign Initiative 1107.
As The News Tribune reported, Gov. Chris Gregoire has said repealing these taxes could force cuts to services like all-day kindergarten, preschool for 3-year-olds and maternity care for low-income moms.
Late last week, a court ruling against a challenge to I-1107’s ballot title cleared the way for signature-gathering to begin. The deep-pocketed beverage industry immediately poured more than $1 million into the effort to collect about 241,000 signatures by July 2.
You’ve probably seen signature gatherers with I-1107 petitions outside grocery stores and big-box retailers. We’re already hearing reports that signature gatherers are misleading people by claiming this initiative would repeal taxes on “food and beverages.”
Free speech is one thing. Misleading the public is another.
Do not let proponents of this initiative twist the truth about the very modest and targeted taxes our lawmakers thoughtfully debated before enacting.
There’s a decline-to-sign hotline you can call, e-mail or text to report any misleading information you hear from signature gatherers out there: 1-888-207-7307, WA.DeclinetoSign@gmail.com, 425-998-STOP (7867).