Court strikes down Spokane Prop 1, removing it from November ballot

SPOKANE, Wash.– Spokane voters will have one less matter to vote on this election cycle.

On Thursday, Spokane County Superior Court Judge Bjelkengren ruled Spokane Proposition 1 was beyond the scope of the local initiative process. That means it won’t be allowed on the November ballot.

If passed, Spokane Prop 1 would have banned the city from restricting gas use in new construction. The move was considered “critical to meeting climate change targets established in state law and the Spokane code,” the Lands Council said in a press release.

However, the court ruled Prop 1 was invalid because it addressed administrative matters. That’s because the city already adopted a climate change policy and it would have interfered with implementing it. That change is considered administrative and outside of the local initiative process. The court also said the measure would interfere with the city council’s statutory authority to enact local building codes.

Prop 1 was filed and written in as a response to Spokane’s draft sustainability action plan. The plan included a focus on building electrification and updating the city’s commercial building codes.

Knoll Lowney, one of the attorneys for the Lands Council, said, “This initiative was clearly impermissible, and the Court made the right decision in striking it from the ballot.” 

Amanda Parrish with the Protect Spokane Action coalition said, “We are thrilled with the judge’s well-founded decision to uphold the process allowing the community-led Sustainability Action Plan to continue and to remove the intentionally misleading Prop 1 from ballots this fall. Our community deserves the opportunity to choose cleaner and healthier buildings in the future.”

You can read more about Prop 1 here.

This isn’t the only change Spokane voters can expect to see on their ballots this fall. On Wednesday a judge ruled Spokane City Council candidate Tyler LeMasters did not meet the city residency requirement needed to run for office. This means LeMasters will not be listed as a candidate on the general election ballot. Betsy Wilkerson, who is seeking reelection for the role, will be the only name listed.

RELATED: Spokane City Council candidate Tyler LeMasters ineligible for November ballot

This does leave the option for a write-in vote. Spokane County Auditor Vicky Dalton said if LeMasters were to get more write-in votes than Wilkerson, there would be another legal challenge since he has been deemed unqualified to take office.

Dalton noted that there is an expectation that LeMasters’ lawyer is considering appealing.

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