State House Democrats showed their true colors this week, blocking a floor debate on making it harder to raise taxes. The House Democrats voted in lock step to avoid even discussing a bill, which would require a 2/3rds legislative vote – or a public vote – to raise taxes.
GOP state Rep. Ed Orcutt attempted to bring the legislation to the floor, only to be blocked by a 49-48 vote in the Democrat-controlled state House.
Orcutt argued that the motion should be brought directly to the floor, bypassing the committee process, because the issue has been examined and debated already. The public has had their say, and every time voters have supported making it harder to raise taxes. Here’s the record:
- 1993: Initiative 601 – passed with 51% yes vote, to require a 2/3rds vote in the legislature to raise taxes;
- 1998: Referendum 49 – passed with 57% yes vote (affirmed 2/3rd tax limitation);
- 2007: Initiative 960 – passed with 51% yes vote (re-enacted 2/3rd tax limitation);
- 2010: Initiative 1053 – passed with 64% yes vote (re-enacted 2/3rd tax limitation);
- 2012: Initiative 1185 – passed statewide with 64% yes vote and approval of people in 44 of the state’s 49 legislative districts.
Last week, a King County Superior Court Judge William Downing ruled that the most recent voter-approved effort, 2015’s Initiative 1366, was unconstitutional. The initiative proposed a one percent cut in the sales tax unless the state Legislature allowed a public vote on an amendment that would require a two-thirds supermajority for future tax increases.
Jay Inslee and his fellow Democrats celebrated the rejection of the voters’ will. House Democrats refusal to allow the issue to come to the floor without all the usual hurdles only further demonstrates their total lack of respect for the time-tested will of Washingtonians.