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July 13, 2007
Attorney General Rob McKenna’s statement on today’s I-960 ruling

OLYMPIA – King County Superior Court today ruled on summary judgment in favor of the state of Washington in Futurewise and SEIU 775 v. Sam Reed. 

The plaintiffs in the case argued I-960 should be excluded from the 2007 ballot, claiming the initiative would be unconstitutional if enacted. Initiative 960 concerns tax and fee increases imposed by state government.  The State Attorney General’s Office, in defending Secretary of State Sam Reed, argued as a general rule Washington Courts do not consider pre-election challenges to proposed initiatives and the only issue the court should consider is whether I-960 meets the constitutional requirements for a proposed initiative.

The court ruled that I-960 may proceed to the ballot should the petitions contain sufficient signatures to be certified. The court’s decision re-emphasizes that I-960 is within the scope of initiative power and the voters should be permitted to cast their vote on the matter.

“The initiative and referendum process is an important right for the people of Washington. The Attorney General’s Office thanks the court for protecting the right of the people to vote on initiatives,” said Attorney General Rob McKenna. “This is consistent with our office’s position that the time for a Constitutional challenge is after the voters have their say.”

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Media Contact:  J. Ryan Shannon, Media Relations Manager, (360) 753-2727

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