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 pass any tax increase.
And passing the rule would take only a simple majority of all senators, unlike a constitutional amendment that is much less likely to pass.
Regardless of the rule, Tom said: “We control the floor calendar. These things (tax increases) will not come up for a vote in the Washington State Senate unless we have two-thirds votes.”
UPDATE: Lt. Gov. Brad Owen is consulting lawyers on the legality of such a Senate rule.
“My gut feeling is that they can’t do it,” said Owen, the Senate’s presiding officer who rules on procedural matters, “but I’m not going to say that absolutely.”