2/3 majority vote is an assault upon our Constitution.
In assembling data about how state taxes are collected and how the money is spent–who pays and who receives–my first goal is to educate the public that King County and a handful of others subsidize nearly everyone else. My second goal is to make the argument–exactly as President Obama did in his State of the Union Address–that we must invest in our high growth areas to recover from this Great Recession.
It is important during these times of dramatic spending reductions to push back against the inaccurate view of many that rural areas subsize the urban core. The truth is exactly the opposite. This means that if “everything is on the table” in terms of reductions–as is justifiably the case–then that means we must also have the courageous honesty to transparently outline who receives a disproportionate share of state resources.
So far this exercise has been tongue and cheek and all in good fun to stretch the comfort zone of the institutional political establishment a bit. Still, Rep. Glenn Anderson introduced a bill, that I co-sponsored, to allow the Legislature to merge counties that are ‘net recipient’ entitities of at least two-to-one ($2 in spending for each $1 in taxes paid) over 10 years.
I have been prepared to let the issue go since the point has been made.
Today, however, the issue is surfacing in a deadly serious public policy debate about the proposal, introduced by Republican legislators, to change our state constitution to require a 2/3 majority vote to raise any taxes or eliminate any tax exemptions. Initiative 1053, passed by voters in November, is likely unconstitutional. Hence, advocates have taken the next step to attempt to change our constitution to categorically enable the idea to pass legal muster.
Since advocates of 2/3 majority rules have taken this step, I think we should reply to their tactic by introducing legislation in direct response to their assault upon our state constitution and democratic rights of our republican form of government.
I am considering introducing legislation only because I-1053 advocates have pushed it too far.
The Legislation I would like to introduce grants legislators from districts that are “net donors” of taxes two votes on appropriation issues while legislators from “net recipient” districts receive one vote on appropriation issues.
Yes, it would be unconstitutional. That’s the point. We need the public to engage with us in a serious dialogue about the importance of majority rule and representative democracy. Supermajority requirements (or weighted voting rights) for public policy issues–whether taxes or hot-button social policies–are undemocratic, unfair and unwise.
For each step advocates of tyranny of the minority take we must match them one-for-one to advocate for majority rule.
Your partner in service,