Washington State's recurring urinary tract infection, Tim Eyman, has filed a lawsuit against the state legislature for passing a bill that modified I-940, the initiative to change the state's deadly force law.
Eyman, the anti-tax initiatives activist who is representing himself pro se, argues that the state legislature "went rogue" by accepting a deal cut by police groups and community activists last week. Days before the session ended, De-Escalate Washington and police groups settled on a modified version of I-940 to be passed by legislators; the deal being that by passing this bill (HB 3003), De-Escalate Washington would take I-940 off the November ballot.
De-Escalate Washington, a group composed of families of people shot by police, activists, and public defenders, cheered the passage of the bill through the legislature. The group, which broadcast reactions from activists and family members to Facebook during the legislative vote, called the passage of the bill "an emotional win." The Public Defender Association characterized it as "unprecedented, and wonderful."
Eyman, on the other hand, claims that the compromise "disrespect[ed] initiative signers and prevent[ed] voters from exercising their right to vote." He argues that the deal eliminated the initiative process.
Some state legislators have also expressed concern about the way the deal was crafted. The state Constitution says legislators must accept or reject initiatives as they're written; an Attorney General's Office opinion from the '70s says if the legislature wants to amend an initiative, they must place an alternative on the ballot.
In HB 3003's case, legislators effectively modified the initiative as law before it reached the ballot. We'll see whether Eyman's argument holds up in court.