Washington’s election results often take days or weeks to determine as ballots trickle in through our mail-in system. The following are preliminary results shared with the caveat that they could change as more ballots are counted.
Unfortunately, it appears as if Tim Eyman’s latest venture, Initiative 1366, will pass (see the Secretary of State’s website). The initiative will lower the state sales tax from 6.5% to 5.5% unless lawmakers approve a constitutional amendment requiring a two-thirds legislative majority for tax increases or closing tax loopholes. The initiative says that the sales tax cut would take effect on April 15, 2016 unless the legislature has approved the constitutional amendment. Any constitutional amendment requires a 2/3 majority vote from both the Senate and the House before it is sent to the voters to decide; passage of such an amendment is highly unlikely. The decrease in the sales tax will put significant pressure on legislators to make cuts, including to health care and safety net programs.
The most watched legislative race was the special election in the 30th legislative district to replace a Democratic legislator elected posthumously in 2015. Democrats appear to be losing the seat, making their slim majority in the House even tighter. If they do lose the seat in the final results, the state House will be 50 Democrats to 48 Republicans.
2016 will be a big election year with initiatives, statewide offices, and many legislative seats on the ballot. The Washington Hospital PAC will make significant contributions in 2016. To learn more about the PAC, contact Lori Martinez. (Cassie Sauer)