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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."

Ivory And Taxes Likely To Make Washington's Fall Ballot

Austin Jenkins
Northwest News Network
File photo of Tim Eyman. Eyman and Paul Allen are sponsoring initiatives that could be on Washington's November ballot.

Billionaire Paul Allen wants wildlife traffickers to feel a bit more pain. Professional initiative sponsor Tim Eyman wants state lawmakers to feel a bit of pain too.

Both men are sponsors of ballot measures that are likely to qualify for Washington’s November ballot. Petitions to qualify for the ballot were due Thursday at the Secretary of State’s office.

The threshold to qualify for the ballot is 246,000 valid voter signatures. Both campaigns submitted many more than that.

The Paul Allen measure would stiffen penalties for individuals who smuggle and trade in ivory and other products made from animals that are threatened globally because of poaching. The Tim Eyman measure would reduce Washington’s sales tax rate by one penny unless state lawmakers approve a constitutional amendment to require a two-thirds vote to raise taxes.

Eyman calls his a Taxpayer Protection Act. The Paul Allen measure is described as “Protection of Species Threatened with Extinction.

The wildlife initiative has raised $1.6 million so far, most of it from Paul Allen. Tim Eyman has raised $1.2 million with large checks coming from wealthy businessmen like Clyde Holland and Kemper Freeman.

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."