NPI hails Supreme Court ruling striking down Eyman’s I-976

In the Courts

Today, the Washington State Supreme Court struck down Tim Eyman’s Initiative 976 as unconstitutional, holding:

“I-976 violates article II, section 19 because it contains multiple subjects and an inaccurate ballot title.  Accordingly, we reverse in part and remand to the trial court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.”

Following the release of the opinion, Northwest Progressive Institute founder and Executive Director Andrew Villeneuve made the following statement.

“We took a long road to get here, but our multiyear effort to defeat Tim Eyman’s incredibly destructive Initiative 976 has succeeded at last. Our team is thrilled. It’s truly a wonderful feeling to have prevailed.”

“Everyone in Washington State deserves freedom of mobility. The decision by the Washington State Supreme Court in Garfield County v. State both correctly upholds our Constitution and ensures that decades of bipartisan, voter-approved work will not be undone by a dishonestly worded, mean spirited ballot measure.”

“Vehicle fees are a key way in which we pool our resources to get things done, whether that’s providing intercity rail service with Amtrak Cascades, adding new ferries to our fleet, providing critical bus and paratransit service, or improving local streets and sidewalks so that people can safely get around their neighborhoods.”

“We’ve consistently said that the deceptive I-976 ballot title is a ‘blazing dumpster fire’, an analysis that was even cited during the oral argument back in June. Today, the Supreme Court agreed with us that the I-976 ballot title is inaccurate. Voters were not told the truth about what I-976 would do when asked to decide its fate. That’s unacceptable. While today’s decision rights that particular wrong, this is a recurring problem.”

“We sorely need a better process for developing ballot titles in our state. In 2021, the Northwest Progressive Institute will be asking our state legislators to revamp how titles are written, both to end the practice of ‘ballot title shopping’ and to ensure that measure titles use plainer language and do not deceive or mislead, not even unintentionally. We believe there ought to be many more sets of eyes on ballot titles than there are today during the drafting phase.”

“NPI thanks the City of Seattle, King County, and all of the plaintiffs represented by our friends at Pacifica Law Group for their fine work successfully challenging I-976. These are bad times, to be sure, but this is a great day for Washington State. Everyone wins from this decision, even people who voted for I-976.”

Tomorrow: State Supreme Court expected to rule on Tim Eyman’s I-976
Understanding State of Washington v. Tim Eyman

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