Washington voters approved Initiative 1366, the tax cut or tax-limiting measure by a wide margin. So, once again, Washington is on the verge of joining 17 other states requiring a supermajority legislative vote to raise taxes.
And, once again, opponents of I-1366have vowed to continue fighting in a court of law, since they have lost again in the court of public opinion. In the past, opponents have claimed that the restriction is a violation of the U.S. Constitution. But, that argument hasn’t gone over well. The Washington Policy Center,
“Not surprisingly opponents have tried everything possible to remove this restriction. One effort was to challenge the voter approved restriction as a violation of the U.S. Constitution. The U.S. Supreme Court was not impressed.”
The Court’s decision held that “there is no constitutional barrier to a State’s empowerment of its people by embracing that form of lawmaking… the invention of the initiative was in full harmony with the Constitution’s conception of the people as the font of governmental power.”
Ironically – and hyprocritically – some of the loudest opponents of I-1366 have “decided some important fiscal decisions, such as certain fee increases or whether to strike, should require a supermajority vote.” The Washington Policy Center,
- WFSE Constitution – Two-thirds vote required to approve special assessment: “Special assessments may be levied on the members of affiliated locals by a two-thirds vote of the delegates present at a biennial Convention or a special meeting of the Council.”
- SEIU 925 Constitution – Two-thirds vote required to approve strike: “The authority to call a strike is vested in the Negotiating Committee with the approval of the Executive Board. In order for a strike to be called, it must be authorized by a ratification vote by two-thirds of those affected members who participate in the vote under the following conditions…”
Whether or not opponents will respect the voters’ will remains to be seen. However, considering the past, we’re not holding our breath.