A number of South Sound Democrats diverged from their party by voting to keep Initiative 960 in effect.
The initiative requires a two-thirds majority vote in the Legislature to raise taxes. Suspending it required only a majority in the House and Senate, and there was little suspense that Democrats would get that. Leaders had counted their votes and were confident. But the votes were close, reflecting the tough politics of being seen as opposing the will of voters.
Reps. Christopher Hurst, D-Enumclaw, Troy Kelley, D-Tacoma, Dawn Morrell, D-Puyallup, Mark Miloscia, D-Federal Way, and Larry Seaquist, D-Gig Harbor, voted “no” Wednesday night, joining all South Sound Republicans. A version that passed the Senate was opposed by Sens. Claudia Kauffman, D-Kent, and Sen. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor.
Kelley wrote in a statement: “The current economic downturn has left families and hard-working individuals hurting, and I think that one of the best ways to counter this problem is by addressing the long-term, structural issues with how we raise revenue and how we spend it. I don’t believe that amending Initiative 960 solves that problem, and that’s why I voted no on Senate Bill 6130.”
Voting yes in the House: Reps. Steve Conway, D-Tacoma, Jeannie Darneille, D-Tacoma, Dennis Flannigan, D-Tacoma, Tami Green, D-Lakewood, Sam Hunt, D-Olympia, Steve Kirby, D-Tacoma, Tina Orwall, D-Normandy Park, Geoff Simpson, D-Covington, Pat Sullivan, D-Covington, Dave Upthegrove, D-Des Moines, and Brendan Williams, D-Olympia.
Voting no in the House: Hurst, Kelley, Morrell, Miloscia, Seaquist and Reps. Jan Angel, R-Port Orchard, Tom Campbell, R-Roy, Bruce Dammeier, R-Puyallup, Jim McCune, R-Graham, Skip Priest, R-Federal Way, Dan Roach, R-Bonney Lake.
Voting yes in the Senate: Sens. Tracy Eide, D-Federal Way, Rosa Franklin, D-Tacoma, Karen Fraser, D-Olympia, Jim Kastama, D-Puyallup, Karen Keiser, D-Kent, and Debbie Regala, D-Tacoma.
Voting no in the Senate: Kauffman, Kilmer and Sens. Randi Becker, R-Eatonville, Mike Carrell, R-Lakewood, and Pam Roach, R-Auburn.