2016 General Election EndorsementsWashington needs candidates for statewide executive offices, the state Supreme Court and legislative office who will support policies and uphold the principles that improve the state's business climate. Decisions made in Olympia, at the ballot box and in the state’s highest court affect every employer in the state, large and small. This page outlines AWB’s full list of candidate endorsements for the 2016 general election Nov. 8 based on candidate debates, 2016 judicial and legislative scorecards and candidate interviews. After hearing from both sides, AWB’s board also voted to oppose three statewide ballot measures: Initiative 732 (carbon tax), Initiative 1433 (minimum wage) and Initiative 1464 (taxpayer funded political campaigns).
State Supreme Court
Initiatives: AWB Opposes
- I-732: If approved by voters, this measure would impose a flat carbon tax starting in 2017 that would be assessed per metric ton of carbon emissions, on fossil fuels like gasoline and fossil-fuel-generated electricity. New research from the No On 732 campaign confirms the significant energy price hikes already disclosed by I-732 proponents. AWB opposes I-732 because it will result in higher energy and fuel costs on consumers and impact job growth in key economic sectors of manufacturing and agriculture:
- $628 more for annual household energy costs
- $.25 more per gallon of gas
- 5,000 fewer manufacturing jobs
- 7,000 fewer agriculture jobs
- $12 billion higher Washington trade deficit
- I-1433: If approved by voters, this measure would increase the state’s minimum wage for workers age 18 and up to $11 per hour in 2017 and gradually increase the state minimum wage to $13.50 per hour by 2020. It would also require employers to provide one hour of paid sick and safe leave for every 40 hours worked to all employees beginning in 2018. AWB opposes this initiative because of the diverse economies around the state and the uneven economic recovery – a wage increase that can be absorbed in Seattle may not work with the economies of other cities and counties that have yet to see the economic recovery of the central Puget Sound.
- I-1464: If approved by voters, this measure would allow for publicly-financed political campaigns. Using residents’ tax dollars, the state would allow for up to three $50 vouchers for each citizen on a first-come, first-served basis, to use to contribute to political candidates of their choosing. It would also restrict lobbying employment by certain former elected officials and public employees and add enforcement to the last provision. This measure would also remove the non-resident sales tax exemption as one of the means to fund the voucher system. AWB opposes this initiative because it will unfairly hurt border counties that rely on out-of-state customers, including our Canadian neighbors, to shop at their businesses. It also creates a system by which a well-organized campaign could game the system, shutting our newcomers to the political process. Finally, the initiative cost estimates to taxpayers are roughly 10-fold the tax revenue collected from removing the out-of-state sales tax break.