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WSLC’s Jeff Johnson: Decision ends ‘tyranny of the minority’

(Feb. 28, 2013) — Jeff Johnson, President of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, released the following statement today in response to the State Supreme Court’s 6-3 ruling striking down the rule requiring a two-thirds vote of the legislature to pass taxes saying it violates the state constitution.

johnson-jeff-13In the much anticipated Washington State Supreme Court decision on I-1053 (I-1185), whether it requires a super majority or a simple majority vote of the legislature to pass revenue measures, the Supreme Court came down on the side of justice and ruled a simple majority! This squares with Article 2, Section  22 of the State Constitution, which requires a majority of members of each house voting yea for the passage of a bill. The constitution does not differentiate between policy and revenue bills.

This decision ends the tyranny of the minority that the Washington State Legislature has endured for the last several years. Under I-1053 all it took were 17 state senators to block any revenue measure from passing and indeed this has happened almost all the time. Now legislators can do their job and approve revenue or remove tax exemptions when they deem it necessary to do so.

Finally, common sense, justice and the law are lined up.

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