The Republican-led Majority Coalition Caucus (MCC) appears to be holding on to its 26-23 advantage in the Washington State Senate based on results posted on election day, providing a desperately needed buffer against the bigger-government and tax-raising agendas of Jay Inslee and House Democrats. Voters sent a clear message of rejection to Inslee, who voluntarily placed himself (and his extreme green policies) on the ballot during the campaign.
Unfortunately, by every indication, Inslee isn’t ready to listen. A prime example was in a speech today at an energy conference, where he talked of how he has made “advancement of electric vehicles a top priority,” and outlined his ideas for tax breaks for buying electric cars, for tax breaks for buildings that charge electric cars and giving electric cars access to HOV lanes – all in the 2015 legislative session.
Talk about tone deaf.
Inslee will continue to push his narrow agenda, including a low carbon fuels mandate – essentially a gas tax scheme – no matter the costs to (or the wishes of) Washingtonians. But, that’s not the only way it appears that Inslee and his fellow Democrats will continue to ignore voters’ clear signals.
Washington voters overwhelmingly passed the two-thirds requirement to raise taxes a total of five times, in five separate initiatives (1993, 1998, 2007, 2010, 2012). In one way or another, Democrats managed to reverse voters’ wishes. Most recently, the state Supreme Court ruled (6-3) to overturn the latest voter-approved supermajority requirement. The court insisted that “the policy must be adopted via constitutional amendment instead of by initiative.”
According to the Washington Policy Center’s Jason Mercier and Chris Cargill, in the past, “when the court has struck down a popular law passed by the people, the Legislature has sought to implement what the people want (Initiative 695 reducing car-tab costs and Initiative 747 limiting property-tax increases are recent examples).” Though the two-thirds requirement qualifies—based on past election results—as a vastly popular law passed by the people, Democrats in the Legislature have thus far refused to abide by voters’ clear wishes: taxpayer protection.
During the last legislative session, the Senate voted—thanks to a Republican-led effort in the MCC — to “amend the state Constitution to require a two-thirds majority vote of the Legislature to raise state taxes.” The Senate Joint Resolution 8213 “would have allowed voters, for the sixth time, to consider this important taxpayer protection.” Democrats in the House, under Frank Chopp’s direction, blocked the bill, refusing to even allow a vote on the bill.
Jay Inslee and Democrats in the House have made it clear, their priorities are not the priorities of Washingtonians. Whether its Inslee’s extreme environmental agenda or blatantly standing in the way of voters’ clear wishes on having a voice about taxes, Democrats simply do not share—nor do they appear to care for—the concerns facing everyday Washingtonians. In fact, Democrats like Inslee appear intent on mocking voters in pursuit of their political agenda.