People of Northwest Public Radio
Washington's Supermajority Requirement
Tue September 25, 2012
Wash. Supreme Court Hears Arguments On Two-Thirds For Taxes
The fate of Washington’s two-thirds requirement for tax hikes is now in the hands of the state Supreme Court. The justices Tuesday heard oral arguments in a constitutional challenge to the supermajority threshold.
The case was brought by a dozen Democratic lawmakers. Last year they tried unsuccessfully to close a tax break with a simple majority vote.
Attorney Paul Lawrence represents the lawmakers and other plaintiffs. He called the supermajority requirement an “elephant that’s been stalking” Olympia for years.
Lawrence: “In fact it’s working exactly as intended, and in so doing it’s taking off the table legislative options to address the state's most pressing problems, including the ability to fund education as constitutionally required.”
Washington’s Solicitor General argued in defense of the law. She questioned whether the lawmakers even have the standing to bring such a challenge to court. A decision on this case is possible by the end of the year.
Meanwhile, Washington voters will once again decide this November whether to approve another supermajority ballot measure courtesy of initiative promoter Tim Eyman.
Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network