Lunaya Pravda

03 May 2006

Majority: from super to simple

The Heartless Libertarian brought something to my attention that Washingtonians should be aware of - and frankly, I, too, am astonished that this is completely below the radar of state tax protest groups.

Doing research for my post below, I came across something, and I have to wonder why the anti-tax crusaders in Washington state aren't making a bigger deal about it. That something is the undermining of I-601, which limited the ability of the Legislature to increase spending beyond specified growth limits and to raise taxes. The Legislature accomplished this undermining through the enactment of SB 6078. 601 required a supermajority to raise taxes without sending the issue to the voters in a referendum,which basically means that any tax increase must have bipartisan support; 6078 reduces the requirement to a simple majority. Furthermore, 6078 was declared to be 'emergency' legislation, meaning it couldn't be challenged by voter referendum.

From the bill's summary:

Effective immediately and continuing until June 30, 2007, the Legislature may enact legislation increasing state revenue by a majority vote. After June 30, 2007, legislative actions increasing state revenue will require a two-thirds vote of each house of the Legislature.

This doesn't just undermine I-601 - it guts it completely. Pretty convenient since the state legislature, and particularly the Democrats, have been enacting new taxes and spending like a bunch of drunken sailors ever since Gregoire took office. Moreover, anyone with half a brain and ANY memory of history will take no comfort in the fact that it supposedly sunsets in two years. Nothing that benefits government spending EVER sunsets.

Wake up, Washington!