The League of Women Voters of Washington welcomed the State Supreme Court’s decision that an initiative requiring a two-thirds vote to raise taxes was in conflict with the state Constitution, thereby giving the Legislature the authority to pass laws by simple majority. The LWVWA filed an amicus brief which argued that the rule was inconsistent with the history and text of the Constitution—reasoning that the Court ultimately adopted!
“This is a big win for schools, for infrastructure, and especially for democracy,” said Kim Abel, Co-President of the League of Women Voters of Washington.
“The brief filed by LWVWA clearly played a key role in the majority opinion that struck down the two-thirds rule,” said attorney David Perez, who authored the LWVWA’s amicus brief pro bono. “The ruling was largely based on an understanding of the meaning of the phrase, ‘unless a majority.’ We argued that the Framers of our Constitution meant a ‘simple majority.’ And the Court agreed.”
“Voters want good schools, safe bridges and roads, clean air to breathe and clean water to drink along with trustworthy elections and safe communities—all the work of our elected officials,” says Abel.
Many are skeptical that even with the simple majority requirement the current legislature will be willing to identify additional revenue. Ms. Abel disagrees. “We believe that this decision will allow the legislature to do the job they were elected for and manage the budget in a way that meets the most basic needs of the state.”
Linnea Hirst, LWVWA Co-President, concurs: “This court ruling will help our legislators fulfill their responsibilities in accordance with the Constitution, as emphasized by the recent McCleary decision requiring full funding of public education.”
The League of Women Voters is a respected nonpartisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.