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Ballot measures: Criminal justice funding measure headed to defeat, Spokane moves to ban camping

Savanna Rothe, Spokane Public Radio

Spokane County leaders will have to go back to the drawing board to find money for a new jail and behavioral health facilities, as voters turned down their request for a billion-dollar bond issue.

Early results released Tuesday evening showed support for Measure One trailing opposition, 62 to 37 percent. The measure would have added a two-tenths of a percent sales and use tax on purchases to fund criminal justice and public safety projects. Proponents hoped new jail facilities would help solve Spokane county's crime issues. Those opposed said more should be done to look at alternatives to incarceration.

City of Spokane voters approved Proposition One, a measure that would ban public camping in more than half the city. The vote was 75 to 24 percent, according to unofficial early results.

The initiative seeks to ban camping within 1000 feet of schools, parks, playgrounds and child care facilities.

Proponents say the measure was needed to protect neighborhoods and children from homeless encampments. Those opposed said the ban won't eliminate the homeless problem and won't stop encampments in the city.

In other Spokane-area ballot measures, a levy to support services at Newman Lake Fire District 13 has gone down to defeat for the third time in a row. The vote was 59 to 40 percent against the levy. Fire officials say passage of the measure was critical to maintaining the current level of service.

All results are not official until certified. 96,000 ballots were cast in the county, and 25,000 remain to be counted. The next ballot count will be released Wednesday.