A wrapup of the 2015 Washington state general election

Compiled by Keva Guszkowski, WAWG policy director

Legislative Results
9th District, Position 1- Rep. Mary Dye (R-Pomeroy) 63.34%
30th district, Position 2- Rep. Teri Hickel (R-Federal Way) 54.79%
The House of Representatives is now comprised of 50 democrats and 48 republicans.

Ballot Measures
Initiative Measure 1401 – yes by 70.29 percent. 1401 will make it illegal to trade endangered animal products in WA.

Initiative Measure 1366 – yes by 51.51 percent. 1366 gives legislators a choice to send a constitutional amendment to voters that would require a 2/3 majority in the legislature to raise taxes or see a cut in the state sales tax by 1 percent. Washington has voted and approved the policy of a supermajority to raise taxes 6 times in the past 22 years (1993, 1998, 2007, 2010, 2012, 2015). If Washington implements supermajority for tax increases, our state will become the 18th state to offer this taxpayer protection, joining neighboring states Oregon (3/5) and California (2/3). 1366 has been highly controversial, and on Nov. 12, the State Supreme Court ruled that the legality of Tim Eyman’s 1366 is unclear and can be argued before a lower court. Secretary of State Kim Wyman testified, “1366 does not amend the state constitution or alter the constitutional amendment requirements. Instead, it amends the state sales tax rate, and proposes a constitutional amendment to the legislature for their consideration.”

Advisory Votes
Advisory votes are nonbinding, and no changes in state law occurs because of them.
Advisory Vote No. 10 – Engrossed Substitute House Bill 1449, Oil Transportation Safety. Maintained by 51.33 percent.

Advisory Vote No. 11 – Second Substitute Senate Bill 5052, Cannabis Patient Protection Act/Implementing Medical Marijuana Excise Tax. Maintained by 58.73 percent.

Advisory Vote No. 12 – Second Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5987, Transportation Revenue Package/ 11.9 cent graduated implementation of State Gas Tax Increase. Repealed by 64.38 percent.

Advisory Vote No. 13 – Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 6138, Increasing state revenue through improved compliance methods and eliminating tax preferences for royalties and certain manufacturing equipment. Repealed by 63.41 percent.

Legislative Appointment and Resignation Changes
• Sen. Dean Takko (D-Longview) has been appointed to replace Sen. Hatfield, who resigned following his appointment to serve Governor Inslee as Rural Economic Development Sector Lead. Takko will also serve as the ranking minority leader on the Senate Ag Committee. Takko’s replacement in the House will be JD Rosetti (D-Longview).

• Patty Kuderer (D-Seattle) has been selected to replace former State Rep. Ross Hunter who left this summer to lead the State Department of Early Learning. Kuderer is a personal injury attorney.

• Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-Seattle) obtained 85.33 percent of votes, winning Metropolitan King County Council election. She intends to resign from the Senate. Rep. Reuven Carlyle has announced that he will seek appointment to her Senate seat. If appointed, Carlyle’s open seat in the house would trigger another selection process for a replacement.

• 2016 Legislative Committees and Leadership will be decided in early January.