OLYMPIA -- The Senate turned down a proposed constitutional amendment that would have required a two-thirds majority to raise taxes, failing to give it that same two-thirds approval on the vote.
Supporters insisted "the will of the people" dictated that the Senate pass the amendment onto the November ballot because voters had repeatedly approved such a restriction by initiative.
Opponents countered that it would actually create a "super-minority" that could control any legislative discussion of taxes because as few as 17 senators could block any tax measure.
The proposal by Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn, received a 25 - 21 vote, but it needed at least 33 yes votes under requirements for amending the state constitution.
An attempt to amend the amendment, allowing the Legislature to repeal tax exemptions with a simple majority while keeping the supermajority for new taxes, failed on a 20-26 vote.
Among Spokane-area senators, Republicans Brian Dansel, Mike Padden and Mark Schoesler voted yes, Democrat Andy Billig voted no. Republican Mike Baumgartner was excused.