Mar 1, 2007

no simple majority for school levies

Since it required a supermajority in the Senate.
A majority of Senate lawmakers approved the November-only amendment, which reluctant Democrats saw as a way to win over reluctant Republicans.

But in the end, that wasn't enough. Senate Republican Leader Mike Hewitt and other GOP members voted no anyway, saying they had heard from school personnel that a November election would not work. Three Democrats--Sen. Tim Sheldon of Potlatch, Sen. Brian Hatfield of Raymond and Sen. Ken Jacobsen of Seattle--also voted no, guaranteeing the measure's failure.

Two senators from each party were absent, and Senate Joint Resolution 8207 failed by a 30-17 margin; it needed 33 votes to pass. Hatfield also voted against, but it was in protest of the November-only limit. He later changed his vote to yes, which in effect left the measure two votes shy of passage.
The "November election" amendment, which the WEA opposed, gave supermajority proponents an out--they could basically vote "no" and without coming out against simple majorities. 40% of taxpayers will still get to set levy policy.

(The truth is, Washington's levy system creates massive inequities in the first place--so giving levies a better chance is only a stopgap measure. Oh, and Tim Sheldon is a Democrat in the way that Diet Rite is a refreshing beverage.)


Ryan said...

That stinks on every level. Lisa Brown tried to put a positive spin on it, but there's no real way to take the sting out.

Josef said...

I don't like the gamemanship and think my fellow Republicans should have voted yes while they had the chance. I also think the "simple" majority on a tax not all taxpayers pay (directly) creates equality problems just as much as the supermajority.

It may help if the education lobby would say yes to November-only, WITH an option to run a supermajority in the spring on two special election dates. What do you think?

Jim Anderson said...

I think that compromise might work--but then, I'm not in office. And I totally agree that the current structure is inequitable, supermajority or no. To some degree, every tax is a tax someone else doesn't pay.

Josef said...

Thanks Jim!