In a 6-3 decision, smacking of judicial activism, the Washington State Supreme Court struck down the voter passed statute that requires a two-thirds vote of the state legislature to pass any form of tax increase. The court claimed that it violates the state constitution on the grounds that it “prohibits either the people or the legislature from passing legislation requiring more than a simple majority for the passage of tax legislation." The court further argued that if the legislature wants to formally adopt the two-thirds supermajority rule, they must pass a constitutional amendment to do so.
Not only should the members of the state legislature move forward with drafting this constitutional amendment, but they would be providing a disservice to their constituents if they didn’t.
In addition to the voters and taxpayers of Washington approving Initiative 1185 – a statute requiring a two-thirds legislative super majority to increase taxes – residents of the Evergreen State have approved two-thirds supermajority votes for tax increases four previous times over the last 20 years: 1993, 1998, 2007, and 2010. The statute must be continually approved by the voters of Washington, as the legislature is able to set it aside after two years have passed.
The continuous approval of the two-thirds supermajority rule shows that the taxpayers of Washington are holding their representatives to be fiscally responsible for the state’s budget.
To contact your state legislator and support a two-thirds supermajority constitutional amendment, click here.