A Washington Superior Court put a pause on a voter-approved initiative that could gut transportation funding as the case against the measure continues.
The Nov. 5 state election passed Initiative 976, a measure that cuts car tab fees to $30 and outlaws special taxes meant to improve transit in cities. The result, if fully implemented, would cut $32 million from Seattle’s transportation budget each year.
Seattle officials, alongside other municipalities, challenged the measure in court and so it could fall by the same legal structure that several other initiatives championed by gubernatorial candidate Tim Eyman have succumbed to — namely, the single-subject rule. The rule is that every law should focus on one thing rather than incorporating several areas in one law.
Seattle officials cheered the court’s decision, saying that allowing 976 to stand would cause “irreparable harm” to the city.
“Seattleites can take a collective sigh of relief knowing they won’t suffer in their commutes while this case is being argued,” Holmes said.
On the case
The Trump administration announced it would act against the epidemic of violence plaguing Indigenous women in the United States, termed the “missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls” (MMIWG) epidemic.
An untold number of Indigenous women have gone missing in the United States, and Seattle ranks among the worst with 45 cases that local researchers were able to find. The City Council approved a measure to improve data collection and intergovernmental information sharing in September in order to stop Indigenous women’s victimization.
The new effort by the Trump administration means investing $1.5 million to hire coordinators in 11 U.S. Attorney’s offices across the country.
The effort is welcome, but it needs to include Indigenous people, said Abigail Echo-Hawk, the chief research officer with the Seattle Indian Health Board.
“MMIWG is a non-partisan issue because it is simply about the safety of women,” Echo-Hawk said. “We support our tribal partners and believe this federal task force has the potential to have an impact on reservations, but I urge that urban Indians have a voice within it.”
Temperatures dropped in the Pacific Northwest region recently, and Seattle opened a temporary warming shelter to give refuge to people experiencing homelessness.
The severe weather shelter opened at the Seattle Municipal Shelter from Nov. 27 to Dec. 2 for adults aged 18 and above.
People living outside are at risk of hypothermia, a state that occurs when the body’s temperature falls below 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Seattle fell into the high 20s over the Thanksgiving week.
Ashley Archibald is a Staff Reporter covering local government, policy and equity. Have a story idea? She can be can reached at ashleya (at) realchangenews (dot) org. Follow Ashley on Twitter @AshleyA_RC.
Read the full Nov. 27 - Dec. 3, 2019, issue.
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