OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington Supreme Court is expected to rule Thursday in a case that challenges the two-thirds requirement for tax hikes. A lower court judge previously found the supermajority rule unconstitutional.

If the two-thirds majority for tax hikes which Washington voters have repeatedly approved -- most recently in November with nearly a two-thirds vote -- is thrown out by the court, then really the only remedy for supporters is to try to get a constitutional amendment passed to actually enshrine it in the constitution. That is no easy feat.

Northwest News Network

The Washington Supreme Court is expected to rule any week now on the constitutionality of supermajority votes for tax hikes. Meanwhile, Tuesday the budget committee in the Washington Senate took testimony on a proposal to enshrine that two-thirds threshold in the state constitution.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – A proposal to raise Washington’s gas tax by ten cents faces a bumpy road in Olympia. House Democrats rolled out the idea Wednesday as part of a $10 billion transportation funding package, but it faced immediate opposition.

The plan comes from House Transportation Chair Judy Clibborn. It would increase Washington’s gas tax two-cents per gallon per year for five years. House Republicans quickly pointed out that when fully implemented, the state’s fuel excise tax would be 47.5 cents per gallon – higher than any other state today.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Three powerful Democrats in the Washington state House are proposing a new 25 percent tax on medical marijuana. The measure introduced Thursday is designed to avoid an underground market for medicinal pot once recreational marijuana is legally sold in stores.

Inslee Open To Extending Temporary Taxes In Washington

Jan 17, 2013

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington Gov. Jay Inslee says he is open to extending the temporary taxes set to expire this year. On his first full day in office, the Democratic governor said he still favors balancing the budget without tax increases, in his words, “as much as humanly possible.”

But Inslee says he does not consider the continuation of a temporary tax as an actual tax hike.

“I am not proposing or advocating to do that today," the governor said. "But I want to make sure that I allow the legislators room to discuss this potential.”

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden was recently named Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. And one of his first moves was asking the administration to investigate the royalties it receives for coal mined on public land. Amelia Templeton of EarthFix explains.

Photo by Aaron Kunz / Northwest News Network

Eliminate a tax on business, build a new mental health facility for prisoners, start a state run health insurance exchange: all things Governor Butch Otter said he wanted to do in his annual State of the State address Monday. But as Adam Cotterell reports, Otter says one thing trumps them all.

Wind Power Tax Credit to Expire Soon

Dec 31, 2012

Some clean energy jobs will disappear from the Pacific Northwest in 2013. Industry leaders say that’s a consequence of letting a wind tax credit expire on Monday. Reporting for EarthFix, Courtney Flatt has more.

Washington Governor Chris Gregoire has completed one of her last tasks before leaving office in January. The Democrat Tuesday proposed a $34 billion budget for the next two years. It includes a combination of cuts, pay increases for state employees and proposed taxes for education. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins has details.

The Special Session of the Oregon legislature lasted just one day. The unusual lame-duck gathering Saturday was meant to assure sports apparel giant Nike that the state would not change the way it calculates income taxes for the Oregon-based company. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.