Opponents File Lawsuit Over Washington I-502 Fiscal Note

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Washington State Office Of Financial Management Is Being Challenged Over I-502 Preliminary Fiscal Note

There are few issues on TWB that are debated as hotly as Washington State's I-502. I would go as far as saying there are no other articles that draw the emotion and debate like I-502 articles. Steve Sarich is often found at the heart of those discussions. While Steve Sarich and I don't always see eye to eye, I always enjoy reading his comments and I'm very happy to have him here on TWB.

Something that is no doubt going to generate quite a bit of debate is the lawsuit that was recently filed by Steve Sarich and other opponents of I-502 against the Wasington State Office of Financial Management (OFM), who is required to file a report that assesses the revenue, cost, expenditures and indebtedness of an initiative to the State of Washington.

The lawsuit claims "the OFM has failed to deliver on its obligation under state law to provide voters with an accurate picture of what the initiative will cost. Sarich says obvious expenditures like training police to deal with marijuana DUIs and defending the state from predictable legal challenges from the feds have been purposefully left out of the equation." Sarich said according to Seattle Weekly.

The current numbers that have been thrown around range from $564 to $606 million in the first year after I-502's implementation. Those are numbers that don't sit well with I-502 opponents like Mr. Sarich.

"How can you say the impact to the state is going to be zero?" Sarich said according to Seattle Weekly. "I don't know you can do that. It's a lie. What we want them to do is their job. I firmly believe [the OFM is] in violation. We want a new fiscal note. We're absolutely not going to give this up. [The estimates the OFM has provided] are so far off it's incredulous."

Civil liberties attorney and I-502 supporter Alison Holcomb noted state law gives the Office of Financial Management until Aug. 10 to issue its opinion. She said she remains “confident the agency will meet its deadline.” according to the Seattle Post Intelligencer.

Click this link to see the preliminary fiscal note generated by the OFM for I-502