Eyman latest referendum: State's top elected officials don't deserve pay raises

Tim Eyman (KOMO Photo)

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Initiative king Tim Eyman says the state's top elected officials don't deserve any pay raises.

A citizens' commission is proposing 6-20 percent raises. Eyman wants the voters to decide.

Wednesday at the Secretary of State's office, he filed a referendum to overturn the pay raises.

"So the idea behind this referendum is 'give them nothing,' " he said. "The whole idea of the initiative is to let the voters do a voter veto on this massive pay raise."

He says the raises proposed by the Citizens Salary Commission are too high for all offices -- especially the governor, in light of what he believes Governor Inslee will do next session; try to raise taxes.

"Does Jay Inslee deserve a 20% pay raise as a result of that? I don't think so," Eyman said.

But the commission website says the proposed raise is only 6.6 percent over two years with the governor's salary going from $177,000 up to $189,000 in that time.

"Well, I respect everybody's opinion on that," Inslee said when told the referendum sponsors don't believe he deserves any raise at all.

Eyman also says state lawmakers don't deserve a raise because of the lack of action in rolling back car tab fees.

"People have been screaming for the last two years for the Legislature to do something about skyrocketing car tabs, yet they've done nothing," Eyman said. "The question is: Do they deserve a 20% pay raise?"

The commission figures show an 8.8 percent raise each of the next two years increasing from $48,000 to $57,000.

Not only is Eyman taking aim at the statewide elected office holders, but also the justices on the State Supreme Court.

"They're already paying them $190,000 a year," Eyman said. "The idea of giving them a $30,000 raise I think is a contemptible idea."

But voters put in the citizen commission so elected officials aren't setting their own salaries. Eyman wants the voters to take on that responsibility. Public hearings are set over the next several months with a final decision by the citizens commission on Feb. 4.

If Eyman's referendum gets 160,000 signatures, it will go on the November 2019 ballot.

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