Reaction to This Afternoon’s I-1433 Court Decision

Date: April 21, 2017

Contact: Patrick Connor, NFIB/Washington State Director, [email protected]
or Luke Wake, NFIB Attorney, [email protected]

OLYMPIA, Wash., April 21, 2017—Kittitas County Superior Court Judge Scott Sparks this afternoon signaled that he would need more time to decide whether a lawsuit may proceed that challenges the constitutionality of Initiative 1433.

The coalition that brought the suit, Haberman v. Washington, is hopeful that it means Judge Sparks will render a positive decision.

“We fully understand and appreciate all the factors Judge Sparks must consider,” said Patrick Connor, Washington state director for the National Federation of Independent Business. “These are difficult issues, but we believe we have a solid case. The Washington State Constitution rightfully limits initiatives to only a single topic. Voters should not be misled, or forced to accept the bad with the good, when casting a ballot on such measures. Intertwining multiple, yet distinctly separate, mandates under a broad title defeats the purpose of this straightforward constitutional requirement.”

Added Karen Harned, executive director of NFIB’s Small Business Legal Center, “The Single Subject Rule entailed in the Washington Constitution simply prohibits ballot measures from addressing unrelated issues. And this only serves to protect the integrity of the initiative process by guaranteeing that voters have a right to vote their conscience. Otherwise, initiative proponents might force voters into a Hobson’s choice between supporting measures they find partially problematic or opposing measures that they find to be good in part.”

NFIB is joined in the lawsuit by the Northwest Food Processors Association, the Washington Farm Bureau, the Washington Food Industry Association, and the Washington Retail Association. A special web page on the lawsuit can be found at


For more than 70 years, the National Federation of Independent Business has been the Voice of Small Business, taking the message from Main Street to the halls of Congress and all 50 state legislatures. NFIB annually surveys its members on state and federal issues vital to their survival as America’s economic engine and biggest creator of jobs. NFIB’s educational mission is to remind policymakers that small businesses are not smaller versions of bigger businesses; they have very different challenges and priorities.

National Federation of Independent Business/Washington
711 Capitol Way South, Suite 505
Olympia, WA 98501
Twitter: @NFIB_WA

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