Judge Strikes Down 2/3 Rule For Passing Taxes In WA State!
Apparently a King County Superior Court Judge (along with the Washington Education Association-WEA- and The League of Education Voters) doesn’t recognize Washington residents when they pass laws limiting tax increases.
Wednesday, Judge Bruce Heller struck down Initiative 1053, which required a 2/3 legislative majority by both House and Senate in Olympia to raise taxes. 66 percent of ALL legislators would have to approve tax hikes. Several times, bills passed with 52-54 or even 60 percent approval, but failed because of the 2/3 law. Heller ruled it was ‘unconstitutional.’ We won’t send you into a coma explaining the technicalities used to challenge the law; it boils down to yet another example of Olympia, special interest groups and other minorities wanting to ‘beat down’ the will of the citizens.
As early as January, critics warned Governor Chris Gregoire not to push the courts to decide if the bill was constitutional or not. From the Seattle Time opinion page, January 9th 2012:
Time and again over the past 20 years, the voters of Washington have approved the rule that the Legislature needs a two-thirds vote of both houses or a vote of the people to raise taxes. Legislators resent this limit on their power and have suspended it several times. Voters keep re-enacting it. The last time was Tim Eyman’s Initiative 1053, in November 2010.
This has turned into a push-and shove argument between the citizens and the state legislature. Did you know you, the voter, have approved similar 2/3 measures (under different initiative names) in 1993, 1998, 2007 and 2010? Each time, the legislature tried, or succeeded, in throwing it out. And back come the people. It’s time Olympia listened to the voters. Curb your spending, curb your power, and remember you were elected by the People to serve them!
This latest result began with the prodding of outgoing Governor Chris Gregoire. She probably would not have pursued such a course of action had this been an election year that she was participating in.