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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Ball Ventures CEO: Consider lowering 2/3 supermajority for bonds

A businessman addressing the Associated Taxpayers of Idaho had a surprising recommendation today: Lower the two-thirds supermajority requirement for general-obligation bonds, which school districts and local governments now must get to invest in major infrastructure like new buildings. “Please don’t throw anything at me, don’t...

Two gun control issues will be on Washington ballot

OLYMPIA – Washington voters will face a pair of gun control issues this fall and will probably decide whether to have fewer students in some public school classes. But, because of a lack of support, citizens won’t be voting on efforts to change the U.S. Constitution on campaign finances or the state constitution on raising taxes.

Spin Control: The will of the people not always worth a law

OLYMPIA – For about 30 minutes last week, the Senate rang with debate on an issue at the very heart of our democratic republic. The resolution at hand was a constitutional amendment requiring the Legislature to come up with a two-thirds supermajority to enact tax increases. But the underlying issue, and much of the argument, involved something more basic:

Ben Stuckart allowed to assign Spokane City Council duties

Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart will soon be handing out duties to the city’s six other council members. The Spokane City Council on Monday unanimously agreed to give Stuckart the power to chose which members serve on what boards.

Eyman, Fagans want public vote on tax hikes

OLYMPIA – Unable to ask voters again to approve an initiative that requires a supermajority for tax increases, a group of self-described tax fighters will try to prod the Legislature into putting a constitutional amendment on the ballot. Perennial initiative sponsors Tim Eyman, of Mukilteo, and Mike Fagan and Jack Fagan, of Spokane, filed an initiative Wednesday that would require a public vote on any tax increase, a one-year limit on any new tax and an advisory vote on whether voters should get to vote on a constitutional amendment that requires any tax increase to pass the Legislature with a two-thirds majority.

Vestal: If supermajority votes govern, a minority rules

“If a pertinacious minority can controul the opinion of a majority respecting the best mode of conducting it; the majority in order that something may be done, must conform to the views of the minority; and thus the sense of the smaller number will over-rule that of the greater.” Thus wrote Alexander Hamilton in the Federalist Papers, and thus cited the majority of Washington’s Supreme Court in striking down the supermajority requirement for tax increases.

Washington Supreme Court rejects tax initiative

OLYMPIA – Legislators have waited months for the Washington Supreme Court to answer a political question that has roiled the state for two decades: Can voters force them to round up a two-thirds majority in order to pass any tax increase? No, a divided court said Thursday: not without a constitutional amendment. Supermajority requirements in Initiative 1053 were struck down.

For lawmakers, supermajority a taxing constitutional debate

OLYMPIA – A proposed constitutional amendment gave a Senate panel another chance to argue whether democracy is helped or hurt by requiring legislative supermajorities to approve tax increases. Definitely helped, state Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn, the sponsor of the amendment, told the Ways and Means Committee. The requirement has been approved five times by voters through the initiative process, she noted, including last year. Spokane voters recently changed their charter to require a supermajority from their City Council on tax increases.