During the 2015 elections, Washington voters passed an initiative to require a two-thirds vote of the legislature – or a vote of the people – to raise taxes. This time is was Initiative 1366.
The initiative gives lawmakers a choice: give voters a chance to enact a 2/3 requirements via a constitutional amendment (since changes to Washington’s constitution must originate with the Legislature), or reduce the state sales tax by a penny.
Liberals are hoping for divine, or at least judicial, intervention to save them. The state Supreme Court is expected to make a decision on the legality of I-1366. Of course, Democrats have led the opposition against the popular initiative.
Democrat state House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan (47th District, King County) recently sat down for an interview with TVW’s Austin Jenkins where he made an interesting admission concerning I-1366.
Rep. Sullivan kicked off his comments on I-1366 by stating, “If we have to comply with the initiative, it would mean a three to four billion dollar reduction in our state budget over the next three years.” Essentially, Sullivan admitted that state House Democrats would prefer a cut in the sales tax rather than acting on I-1366. Sullivan later openly admitted that Democrats prefer “taking the hit on the sales tax.”
Jenkins countered by saying that would not be the case if lawmakers send the constitutional amendment to the voters. Sullivan offered the lame excuse that if they allow voters to decide, legislative sessions would drag on—apparently an admission that the voters would pass the constitutional amendment. Of course, Sullivan’s real concern is that Democrats would not be able to raise taxes—or throw tantrums about raising taxes—quite so easily.
Washingtonians would be displeased to see Democrats ignore I-1366. According to a statewide poll, a supermajority of voters want lawmakers to act on I-1366. Via the Washington Policy Center,
“Sixty percent of voters said they want it to take a supermajority vote in the legislature to raise taxes. An even larger 65 percent said they want the legislature to send voters a constitutional amendment to implement the tax restriction policy if the state Supreme Court strikes down Initiative 1366.”
Sullivan’s comments demonstrate how far Democrats are willing to go to push their bigger government, higher taxes agenda—even at the expense of the people’s will.
You can listen to the interview here.