Traveling the state promoting our 2/3 Constitutional Amendment Initiative
I hopped the Edmonds/Kingston ferry yesterday to be the featured speaker at the Central Kitsap Republicans Women’s Club in Bremerton. They had it at the Admiral Theatre. Lots of great folks turned out. Here’s a news story about it:
Eyman touts supermajority amendment
By Steven Gardner, KITSAP SUN, Thursday, May 8, 2014
BREMERTON — When Tim Eyman introduced his most recent initiative, he said opponents called it “extortion” and “hostage taking.”
Eyman told a lunchtime gathering of the Central Kitsap Republican Women on Thursday at the Admiral Theatre that it’s turnabout that is fair play. “It does to government what they do to us every time they try to raise our taxes,” he said.
Initiative 1325 would cut the state sales tax by a penny per dollar spent beginning April 15, 2015. The Legislature could avoid that cut if it allows voters to decide whether the state Constitution should require a supermajority vote in the Legislature for any tax increases.
The cost to the state should the sales tax be cut would be about $1 billion a year, he said, a tough pill especially when the state is trying to come up with a few billion dollars more just to bring education spending up to levels the state Supreme Court would agree meets constitutional requirements.
Five times voters have approved the supermajority (two-thirds) requirement. The Legislature has been consistent in suspending the rule. In 2013, the state Supreme Court ruled the two-thirds requirement violated the state Constitution. The court said it would take a constitutional amendment to make the two-thirds requirement legal.
Eyman said he likes the new initiative because it would lead to the two-thirds requirement becoming permanent.
Constitutional amendments have to be generated in the Legislature with a two-thirds majority in each chamber. Voters would then be able to enact the amendment with a majority vote. Efforts to get the Legislature to put a supermajority constitutional amendment question on the ballot have failed.
“The Legislature does not want to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot. They don’t want to because they know it’s going to pass,” Eyman said.
He said losing $1 billion a year is even less attractive to lawmakers.
Eyman said claims that his initiative is like “blackmail” is akin to when governments ask for more tax money and predict dire circumstances if they don’t get it.
“Think about how often is it that they say, ‘Unless you vote for this EMS levy and you have a heart attack there will be no ambulance showing up at your house?’ They do it every time. ‘If you don’t vote for this school levy your children will never get a good education,’” he said. “All our initiative does is it does back to government what they do to us.”
Eyman has until July 3 to gather the necessary 246,372 signatures to get the initiative on the November ballot.
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The enthusiasm and support from everyone for the 2/3 Constitutional Amendment Initiative has really been inspiring. Everyone loves the fact that it’s a constitutional amendment, meaning it will provide permanent protection.
The signature drive for I-1325 is off to an explosive start! We’re moving full steam ahead on this critical effort.
What do we need RIGHT NOW? Your financial support. We need a big war-chest to print up petitions and mail them to hundreds of thousands of voters throughout the state. We need your help.