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Archives: Feb. 2013

Feb.
28th

Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom says Senate will vote on rule change to mirror 2/3 initiative

UPDATED 11:45 am with comment from Brad Owen.

Sen. Rodney Tom, the renegade Democrat from Medina who has been elevated to majority leader by a mostly Republican coalition, said he would bring a change to Senate rules up for a vote on the floor to reinstate the tax restrictions passed by voters and struck down today by the Supreme Court.

“We’re going to stand behind the will of the people. They’ve been very clear that they want it to be difficult to raise taxes,” Tom said today.

The rule would require a two-thirds supermajority or a public vote to

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Feb.
28th

Reaction to Washington Supreme Court striking down two-thirds supermajorities for tax increases

UPDATED 10:45 a.m.

The Supreme Court’s ruling today striking down 20-year-old tax handcuffs on the Legislature will likely give new energy to those on both sides of the debate.

Opponents of the two-thirds-for-taxes rules will be able to dust off their wish list of tax breaks to eliminate and taxes to raise.

The job just got easier for all the business and labor groups pushing for a transportation tax package in the Legislature. And education advocates have new hope of being able to find new state revenue to deal with that OTHER Supreme Court ruling: the one that says lawmakers aren’t

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Feb.
28th

Washington State Supreme Court rules unconstitutional initiatives that require two-thirds majority for tax hikes

In a landmark ruling 20 years in the making, the Washington State Supreme Court this morning struck down Initiative 1053 as unconstitutional. The court majority said the constitution controls the majority needed for tax hikes and the constitution requires only a majority of the members of the House and Senate.

That means the only way for backers of the so-called super-majority for tax hikes can achieve that goal is to go through the more-burdensome method of amending the constitution which itself requires a two-thirds vote of both houses and then a majority vote of the people.

“The language and

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Feb.
28th

Morning update: Session Day 46

All eyes are on the Temple of Justice today. The state Supreme Court may issue its decision within moments on Initiative 1053 — either striking down the requirement for lawmakers to find two-thirds supermajorities to raise taxes, upholding the rule, or dodging the issue altogether as it has done in the past.

Elsewhere:

  • The Senate Energy, Environment & Telecommunications committee was to receive an 8 a.m. briefing on leaking underground storage tanks at Hanford.
  • A bill that would require the Department of Corrections to decide which housing providers can receive state housing vouchers for newly released offenders will be

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Feb.
27th

As 520 bridge problems mount, Republicans throw cold water on transportation tax increase

 

Problems with pontoons being built to hold up the new State Route 520 floating bridge, and estimates that the state errors will cost tens of millions of dollars to fix, are driving fresh worries among legislative Republicans about raising transportation taxes.

Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee, though, says the state should “fix it and move on.”

House Democrats are calling for nearly $10 billion in new taxes, but the Democratic caucuses won’t be able to pass them without help from the other side. And both House Republicans and the GOP-dominated coalition in the Senate told reporters today they would demand

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Feb.
27th

Washington Supreme Court expected to release ruling on challenge to two-thirds tax initiatives

The Supreme Court often releases a list of rulings it expects to post. While it says “may” and there have been a few times when an expected case was not released, it usually means “will.”

So here is the list for Thursday:

It is anticipated that the following opinions may be filed this week.

· 87105-1 Klem v. WA Mutual Bank, et al.

· 87425-5 League of Education Voters, et al. v. State, et al.

· 86433-1Schroeder v. Excelsior Mgmt. Group, LLC, et al.

League of Education Voters v. State is the challenge to the constitutionality of

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Feb.
27th

Tacoma: He didn’t foresee potential conflicts, but new Councilman Thoms has twice voted on issues tied to current, past clients

As we reported today, new Tacoma City Councilman Robert Thoms has yet to obtain a city business license and other permits required for his private, home-based lobbying business.

Thoms, who opened The Navigation Group a year ago, said Monday he thought his business had filed all the necessary paperwork — a task he said he left up to his business partner, John Jolibois, to handle.

In a phone interview Tuesday, Jolibois said the firm hasn’t yet met all of its licensing requirements, in part because neither he nor Thoms have figured out where they will base their business

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