Court lacks authority to change I-1033 language, says judge

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September 17, 2009

OLYMPIA, Washington: Last week, days after a lawsuit was filed in Thurston County against Washington state officials in order to halt the use of ballot language that they argue is "erroneous" and "misleading," Judge Richard Hicks ruled that the ballot language for Washington Initiative 1033 (2009)|Washington I-1033 won't be changed.[1] According to Judge Hicks, he doesn't have the authority to change the language unless there is evidence of an egregious error. Hicks said,"There may be differences of opinion. I can’t say there is a clear error in the fiscal impact statement."[2]

The lawsuit, filed by a group called Voters Want More Choices, Tim Eyman and Jack and Mike Fagan, argues that the ballot language is intended only to provide examples of revenue sources rather than an exclusive list of revenue sources covered by the initiative. Additionally, they want to remove exclusions from the revenue limit of state and federal grants received by cities and counties.[3] However, on Friday, the judge said that if state officials had assigned an arbitrary financial figure then the he would have the authority to change the ballot language. Hicks added that he cannot force state officials to change their estimates.[1]

See also

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* Washington Initiative 1033 (2009)