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Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

November 6, 2012 at 8:36 PM

Tim Eyman’s two-thirds vote initiative wins

An initiative that reimposes a law requiring a two-thirds vote in the state Legislature, or voter approval, to increase taxes passed Tuesday.

Initiative 1185, sponsored by Tim Eyman, was leading 64 percent to 36 percent in initial statewide counts.

The measure comes at a time when the state budget and the economy are still struggling and the state Supreme Court has mandated increased funding for public schools.

Eyman contends I-1185 is needed, because the last two-thirds requirement was approved by voters in 2010. Under state law, it takes a supermajority in the Legislature to change or repeal an initiative the first two years after passage — a near political impossibility.

But after two years have elapsed, only a simple majority vote is required. That’s an easier task, and lawmakers in the past have suspended the two-thirds rule to increase taxes.

Critics of the initiative argue the two-thirds requirement allows for minority rule — giving a relatively small group of legislators the ability to block any attempt to boost revenue.

Comments | More in 2014 elections, Politics Northwest

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