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Category: Initiatives and Referenda


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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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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Supreme Court justice will marry Rep. Laurie Jinkins & partner at Union Station

State Rep. Laurie Jinkins found a surprise in her Christmas stocking.

Rep. Laurie Jinkins introduces partner Laura Wulf and son Wulf Jinkins at an election night party.
News Tribune/Peter Haley

It was a new addition to her collection of stones, but this one was in the shape of a heart and said, “Marry Me.”

Jinkins, a Tacoma Democrat and Washington’s first openly lesbian lawmaker, helped push through last year’s law recognizing same-sex marriage, then campaigned to defend it on the ballot. And now that voters have signed off, she and her partner Laura Wulf will take advantage of

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Latest Tim Eyman initiative looks headed for Legislature, then ballot

Tim Eyman has made a career out of promoting ballot measures. His latest offering would change the regulations surrounding that occupation.

It’s an initiative to change the initiative process, which Eyman and allies submitted today with what they estimate at 345,000 signatures. Since they need 241,153 valid signatures (UPDATED TO CORRECT NUMBER), the measure and another on genetically modified foods “appear virtually assured of validation,” the secretary of state’s office says.

Initiative 517 goes to the November 2013 ballot, unless the Legislature takes the unlikely step of approving it first. Lawmakers also have the option of creating an alternative version

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UPDATE: Five gay and lesbian couples wed in midnight ceremonies

UPDATED 2:15 a.m. 12/9:

Five same-sex couples married at the Thurston County courthouse at the first possible chance for their vows to be recognized under voter-approved Referendum 74.

“It’s not about being first,” Carolyn Roos told the audience of about 35 friends who watched Roos and Jude Fritts seal their relationship of nearly five years by trading their domestic partnership for a marriage. “It’s about the moment.”

“We’re here at this moment to celebrate the people of Washington state, who voted to support our civil rights,” Roos said.

Roos, a mechanical engineer with the Washington State University extension energy program, and Fritts,

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Feds break silence on I-502; U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan says marijuana still illegal

President Barack Obama’s administration hasn’t swooped in to try to prevent Washington’s Initiative 502 from taking effect at midnight. And his Justice Department still isn’t saying what it will do once it is in effect. The agency is still reviewing the law, local U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan wrote in a statement today.

But Durkan did say in her statement that it’s still illegal under federal law to have marijuana, even if it becomes legal to possess small amounts under state law.

Here’s the statement. Parse away:

The Department of Justice is reviewing the legalization initiatives recently passed in Colorado

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