July 5th, 2019
Statement on the failure of Tim Eyman’s I-1648
This afternoon, Tim Eyman’s massively hyped, “unprecedented” effort to qualify an initiative to the November ballot to wipe out the Legislature’s 2019 revenue reforms imploded in spectacular fashion when the signatures Eyman was clamoring for from his followers failed to materialize.
As a consequence, I-1648 will not go before voters this autumn.
I-1648 sought to repeal all of the revenue reforms enacted by the Legislature this past session and slap a one-year expiration date on any future revenue reforms not subjected to a public vote. The measure would have jeopardized billions of dollars over the next four years for essential public services throughout Washington State, cutting taxes for big banks and oil companies in the process.
Northwest Progressive Institute founder and Executive Director Andrew Villeneuve, who has been organizing opposition to Eyman initiatives for over seventeen years, called the demise of I-1648 welcome news. I-1648’s implosion will keep Washington’s budget whole, preventing unexpected cuts to education, healthcare, environmental protection, and human services.
“More than seven million people depend on the essential public services funded by our state budget,” said Villeneuve. “Tim Eyman’s I-1648 would have put the progress we’ve made on progressive tax reform this year at risk. Thankfully, because Eyman and his cohorts were unable to gather sufficient signatures, I-1648 is no longer a danger to our communities.”
“Had I-1648 qualified for the ballot, it would have represented a grave threat to our schools, access to college, forest health and firefighting, sorely needed investments in behavioral health, the removal of barriers to fish passage, and the cleanup of polluted waterways.”
“Our elected representatives are required to produce a budget that goes out four years, not just two. They worked hard to craft a budget that takes into account the needs of Washington’s growing population. Although that budget only contained modest revenue reforms, Tim Eyman nevertheless professed himself to be enraged, and set about trying to overturn the will of the people that the voters chose to write a budget for our state.”
“Happily, he has failed, and I-1648 is dead. It will be a pleasure to add a new entry to Tim Eyman’s Failure Chart today.”
Ever the con man, Eyman tried to will success into existence through bluster and hyberbole, in an effort reminiscent of his disastrous attempt to subject LGBTQ+ rights to a vote in 2006. It didn’t work, as those who were on hand today to watch Eyman fail in person got to see for themselves.
Eyman and his followers did not even collect the minimum number of signatures required by the Constitution, which means none of their petitions will be counted or processed.
(The Secretary of State only accepts submissions of signatures that are beyond the minimum number required, currently 259,622. Sponsors are advised to obtain a cushion of signatures equivalent to 25% of the minimum required to offset duplicate and invalid signatures.)
Eyman already has an initiative on the ballot for November — I-976, which would wipe out billions in bipartisan transportation investments at the state, regional, and local levels. The Keep Washington Rolling coalition, of which NPI is a member, is working hard to build a strong NO campaign to defeat I-976. Learn more at no976.org.