Tuesday, October 20, 2020

The Political Desk: State Measures

This year, is a bit odd (I know, it's 2020 - EVERYTHING is odd). But this year is PARTICULARLY odd in that a lot of people who read this blog (both of you), have already voted. The turnout for early voting nationally has been incredible, despite blatant attempts at vote suppression. Washington State, with its complete mail-in ballots, has usually had the jump on the rest of the nation with its habits, but it is in the middle of the pack. And, among the people I pay attention to on Facebook, people are spinning their ballots around fast. I just got mine, and they have a message on the envvelope recommending mailing your ballot in the Friday before election day (because the Feds are messing with the Post Office).

So I'm going through the ballot in order, and summarizing as opposed to going into excruciating detail here, just to get through everything. And we are starting out with the boring part, as listed on my ballot - State Measures. Here's the head's up: Approve all this stuff.

Referendum Measure No/ 90 - Approved

Advisory Vote No 32 - Maintained
Advisory Vote No 33 - Maintained
Advisory Vote No 34 - Maintained
Advisory Vote No 35 - Maintained

Engrossed Senate Joint Resolution No. 8212  - Approved

Intrigued? Let me go into detail.

Ref 90 is the probably the flashiest measure on the ballot this year, because it about sex. Education. Sex education. I would require districts to adopt a uniform, age appropriate sexual health education. Like 28 other states have already. Like parts of Washington have already. Should be a no-brainer (and yeah, the State Government is charged with the education of its citizens), but it has the fundie undies in a twist. Apparently, they feel that informing kids will result in perverted twister in the classrooms and the pop-up kama sutra in their book bags. They are incensed that the state government passed this law, and are using the Referendum system to try to overturn it (which is their right, even though they are wrong).

I am surprisingly in favor of not having stupid kids, and with giving them a better view of sex than what they get on the Internet. So yeah, Approved.

The Advisory Votes 32-35 are just filler.They are literally votes that don't matter. They exist because of a measure passed by initiative maven/gadfly Tim Eyeman that was not entirely thrown out of court. As a result, the state is obligated to ask your approval whenever approval of a new tax (with very broad definitions of what a new tax is). However, they are under no obligation to DO anything about it. It is sort of like a poll - You still hate taxes? That's nice. Anyway:

Advisory Vote 32 (Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5323 adds a small tax on carryout plastic bags. Yes, this is how down in the weeds you can get.  Maintained

Advisory Vote 33 (Substitute Senate Bill 5628) is a tax on heavy equipment rentals - Maintained

Advisory Vote 34 (Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 6492) increased B&O taxes on certain businesses while reducing surcharges. What certain businesses? Big computer companies (I had to dig for this - increases the B&O tax a tiny bit on businesses making over $100 billion a year). - Maintained!

Advisory Vote 35 (Engrossed Senate Bill 6690) raised B&O taxes on manufacturers of commercial airplanes. Which is to say, Boeing,This one is interesting in that Boeing SUPPORTS this tax, because it offsets other bennies the state gives it that WTO thinks are illegal - Maintained.

Proposed Constitutional Amendments - Are changes to the state constitution. They DO have weight as opposed to the Advisory votes.

Engrossed Senate Joint Resolution No 8212 - Raising funds for long-term care for the elderly. Since I am planning, some time in the far future, to be elderly, I think this is a good thing. - Approved.

So that's it for the boring order of business, now on to ... what's that? We still have to do the COUNTY Amendments and propositions.

Fine. More later,