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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Washington Voters May Decide Class Size, Money In Politics Measures

Austin Jenkins
Northwest News Network

July 3 is the deadline for initiative sponsors in Washington and Oregon to submit their petitions to qualify for the November election. Pot legalization and GMO-labeling are among the issues likely to make the ballot in Oregon. In Washington, it’s guns, money and class-size.

One element of a teacher’s union-backed initiative to reduce Washington K-12 class sizes over four years includes kindergarten classes with a maximum of 17 students. That’s in line with recommendations from the state’s Quality Education Council. But the proposed measure doesn’t come with a funding mechanism to hire the additional teachers and staff that would be needed.

Another initiative that plans to submit petitions this week is a non-binding message to Congress. It seeks a Constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United and other recent Supreme Court rulings on campaign finance.

Meanwhile, dueling gun measures on background checks are already guaranteed a spot on Washington’s fall ballot.

One ballot measure wildcard in Washington is whether professional initiative sponsor Tim Eyman will succeed in getting his latest anti-tax measure on the ballot.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."