Support on display for conservative ballot measures in Olympia

House Minority Leader Drew Stokesbary (front, left) speaks to a crowd gathered in support of six Republican-backed ballot measures, outside the state Capitol on Wednesday. (Courtesy of Jerry Cornfield / Washington State Standard)

An intensifying political fight over six conservative ballot initiatives reached the steps of the state Capitol on Wednesday, with dozens of people joining Republican legislators to demand public hearings on the measures.

The initiatives target social, tax and climate policies backed by Democrats and are on track to go to voters in November.

House Minority Leader Drew Stokesbary, R-Auburn, told rally-goers the state Constitution requires the Legislature to conduct hearings on each initiative even if there is no chance they will be approved by lawmakers.

Stokesbary’s comments came a few minutes after House Speaker Laurie Jinkins, D-Tacoma, told reporters no decision has been made on whether to hold hearings, and that her caucus disagrees with the GOP’s position on the hearing requirement.

Meanwhile, the spigot has cracked open on cash contributions to oppose the measures, with a roughly $1 million donation now on the books for a campaign to defend the state’s cap-and-trade law.

— Washington State Standard

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