Tag Archives: taxes

League Supports Ruling Against Supermajority

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.

Town Hall Meetings Offer Chance to Speak to Legislators

From Kim Abel
League of Women Voters of Washington
Action Chair

The Lobby Team encourages you to join with our coalition partners in Rebuilding Our Economic Future by getting out to talk with your Legislators tomorrow, Saturday. The information below comes from the coalition, but just as important, League members can help encourage a civil discussion with our elected officials. Show up, wear your League pin and be great role models.

Over the next three weeks, our elected officials in Olympia will face tough decisions about how to close the state’s budget deficit. After billions in cuts last year, the estimated $2.8 billion dollar deficit for 2010 threatens vital programs that protect the health and well being of children and families in Washington state.

This Saturday, February 20, is your chance to speak with legislators directly about proposed cuts to child welfare services, education, and children’s health, as well as bills before the legislature. Legislators from across the state are taking time off from the session to hold town hall meetings in their home districts.

These town hall meetings are a rare chance to influence your legislators mid-session while they are still working out the details of critical legislation, including the budget. By urging legislators to look at all revenue options before cutting programs, you can ensure that vital social and educational services are protected.

At the height of the legislative session, your elected leaders are looking for ideas and stories from constituents to take back to Olympia. Your local town hall meeting is an important venue to advocate for the needs of kids and families in Washington!

If you are interested in joining friends and neighbors at a local town hall on Saturday, please see below (check with your legislator if you don’t see them listed, but let them know what is important to you):

Town Hall Meetings:

23rd Legislative District (Kitsap) – Rep. Christine Rolfes (D) and Senator Phil Rockefeller (D)
1) 9:30 – 11 AM at Bainbridge Island fire station; and
2) 1-2:30 PM at the Eagles Nest, Bremerton

26th Legislative District – Rep. Larry Seaquist (D) & Sen. Derek Kilmer (D)
1) Noon – 1:30 PM at Olympic College Student Center, Bremerton
2) 2 – 3:30 PM at Givens Community Center, Rm 1026, Port Orchard
3) 4 – 5:30 PM at Peninsula High School, Purdy