Editor's Note: The following is a press release issued by the office of Sen. Pam Roach last Friday.
A bill to amend the Washington State Constitution to require a two-thirds majority vote of the Legislature to raise taxes, sponsored by Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn, was passed by the Senate Ways and Means Committee Thursday.
“My bill will make the two-thirds tax rule off-limits to the Supreme Court and the Legislature by putting it in the state constitution,” said Roach. “Voters have shown five times that they overwhelmingly support this higher standard, and it’s about time we listen to them and protect it.”
The latest two-thirds tax rule to pass by initiative was I-1185, which received 64 percent of the statewide vote, carried every county, and passed in 44 out of 49 legislative districts.
“This measure received more votes than President Obama did in this state,” Roach said. “If that’s not a mandate from the people, I don’t know what is.”
Roach’s bill, Senate Joint Resolution 8205, passed the Senate budget committee on a 13-10 vote. Roach noted that seven of the dissenting votes represented districts in which a majority of voters approved I-1185.
“These legislators were sent to Olympia to represent the will of the people,” Roach said. “By voting against this bill, they’re directly contradicting the people who elected them.”
Roach expects her bill to be voted on by the Senate in the next week.
A similar bill, SJR 8200, sponsored by Sen. Don Benton, R-Vancouver, died in committee.