Washington budget initiative to be on this year's ballot

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July 16, 2009

OLYMPIA, Washington: Tim Eyman, a state-based political activist and limited-government supporter, has succeeded in getting Initiative 1033 on this year's ballot. The ballot measure summary reads as follows:

This measure would limit growth in state revenues deposited in funds subject to the state expenditure limit, and limit growth in county and city revenues deposited into the county and city current expense funds. The limit would be adjusted based on annual growth in inflation and population. The limit also would apply to revenues transferred out of these funds. The limit would exclude voter-approved revenue increases. Revenues above the limit would reduce property tax levies.[1]

Eyman and his partners in organizing the initiative, Jack and Mike Fagan, say the measure is necessary to stem invasive government growth and eliminate large swings in spending, further claiming that the current economic recession is a perfect example of why such an initiative is necessary. Opponents, however, essentially say the exact opposite, saying that because the economy will rebound faster than the initiative's growth cap, the state government will be unable to restore pre-recession services that were cut to meet lower revenue.[2] Many also point to the fact that other states that have capped state spending to the previous year's budget creates a permanent budget shortage. Colorado, for example, since 1992 when they passed such an initiative, has declined significantly in providing funding for public education and affordable avenues for health insurance.[3]

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