BILL REQ. #:  S-3573.3 


State of Washington62nd Legislature2012 Regular Session

By Senators Frockt, Kohl-Welles, McAuliffe, and Kline

Read first time 01/23/12.   Referred to Committee on Government Operations, Tribal Relations & Elections.

     AN ACT Relating to fiscal impact statements in the voters' pamphlet; and amending RCW 29A.32.070 and 29A.72.025.


Sec. 1   RCW 29A.32.070 and 2009 c 415 s 5 are each amended to read as follows:
     (1) The secretary of state shall determine the format and layout of the voters' pamphlet published under RCW 29A.32.010. The secretary of state shall print the pamphlet in clear, readable type on a size, quality, and weight of paper that in the judgment of the secretary of state best serves the voters. The pamphlet must contain a table of contents. Measures and arguments must be printed in the order specified by RCW 29A.72.290.
     (2) The voters' pamphlet must provide the following information for each statewide issue on the ballot except measures for an advisory vote of the people whose requirements are provided in subsection (((11))) (3) of this section:
     (((1))) (a) The legal identification of the measure by serial designation or number;
     (((2))) (b) The official ballot title of the measure;
     (((3))) (c) A statement prepared by the attorney general explaining the law as it presently exists;
     (((4))) (d) A statement prepared by the attorney general explaining the effect of the proposed measure if it becomes law;
     (((5))) (e) The fiscal impact statement prepared under RCW 29A.72.025;
     (((6))) (f) The total number of votes cast for and against the measure in the senate and house of representatives, if the measure has been passed by the legislature;
     (((7))) (g) An argument advocating the voters' approval of the measure together with any statement in rebuttal of the opposing argument;
     (((8))) (h) An argument advocating the voters' rejection of the measure together with any statement in rebuttal of the opposing argument;
     (((9))) (i) Each argument or rebuttal statement must be followed by the names of the committee members who submitted them, and may be followed by a telephone number that citizens may call to obtain information on the ballot measure; and
     (((10))) (j) The full text of the measure((;)).
     (((11))) (3)(a) Two pages shall be provided in the general election voters' pamphlet for each measure for an advisory vote of the people under RCW 43.135.041, and shall consist of:
     (i) T
he serial number assigned by the secretary of state under RCW 29A.72.040((,));
     (ii) T
he short description formulated by the attorney general under RCW 29A.72.283((,));
     (iii) T
he tax increase's most up-to-date ten-year cost projection, including a year-by-year breakdown, by the office of financial management under RCW 43.135.031((,)); and
     (iv) The names of the legislators, and their contact information, and how they voted on the tax increase upon final passage so they can provide information to, and answer questions from, the public.
     (b) For the purposes of this subsection (3), "names of the legislators, and their contact information" includes each legislator's position (senator or representative), first name, last name, party affiliation (for example, Democrat or Republican), city or town they live in, office phone number, and office e-mail address.

Sec. 2   RCW 29A.72.025 and 2009 c 415 s 7 are each amended to read as follows:
     (1) The office of financial management, in consultation with the secretary of state, the attorney general, and any other appropriate state or local agency, shall prepare a fiscal impact statement for each of the following state ballot measures: (((1)))
     (a) An initiative to the people that is certified to the ballot; (((2)))
     (b) An initiative to the legislature that will appear on the ballot; (((3)))
     (c) An alternative measure appearing on the ballot that the legislature proposes to an initiative to the legislature; (((4)))
     (d) A referendum bill referred to voters by the legislature; and (((5)))
     (e) A referendum measure appearing on the ballot.
     (2) Fiscal impact statements must:
     (a) B
e written in clear and concise language((,));
     (b) A
void legal and technical terms, when possible((, and));
     (c) B
e filed with the secretary of state no later than the tenth day of August((. Fiscal impact statements may));
     (d) Where appropriate,
include easily understood graphics((.
     A fiscal impact statement must
     (e) D
escribe any projected increase or decrease in revenues, costs, expenditures, or indebtedness that the state or local governments will experience if the ballot measure were approved by state voters((.)), including the effect that any decrease in revenues may have upon an increase in demand for government services that is attributable to a recession;
Where appropriate, ((a fiscal impact statement may)) include both estimated dollar amounts and a description placing the estimated dollar amounts into context((. A fiscal impact statement must));
     (g) I
nclude both a summary of not to exceed one hundred words and a more detailed statement that includes the assumptions that were made to develop the fiscal impacts((.
     Fiscal impact statements must
)); and
     (h) B
e available online from the secretary of state's web site and included in the state voters' pamphlet. Additional information may be posted on the web site of the office of financial management.
     (3) As used in this section, "recession" means a decline in the gross state product for at least six months.

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