United Senate Republicans to pass 2/3-for-taxes rule for next session — will any Democrats …?

by | Nov 15, 2016

This is YUGE!!!  

        Inspired by this election and past elections’ clear voters-oppose-any-tax-increase message, senators Mike Baumgartner (R-Spokane) and Doug Ericksen (R-Ferndale) announced yesterday that the rules for the state senate next session will include a requirement that any tax increase will require a 2/3 vote in the senate.  Ever since voters overwhelmingly approved our 2/3 initiative in 2012, the Senate Republicans and Independent Democrat Tim Sheldon — the Majority Coalition Caucus — have consistently backed the 2/3-for-any-tax-increase policy.  Every one of them have consistently voted for a permanent 2/3-for-any-tax-increase constitutional amendment.  But with Senate Democrats repeatedly refusing to let the people vote on it, the MCC will enact the next best thing:  this January and effective during the 2017 and 2018 legislative sessions, they will pass the 2/3-for-any-tax-increase policy with a parliamentary rule.  This protection will only last for the next two years, only apply to the senate (not the house), and only apply to tax increases unilaterally imposed by the Legislature (a simple majority vote is all that’s needed if the Legislature refers a tax increase to the ballot and lets the voters decide).  But even with these moderating factors, this is a truly fantastic achievement by the Majority Coalition Caucus. 

       Such a tremendous taxpayer victory is due to several factors:

*  Mike & Doug have been junk-yard dogs pursuing the 2/3-for-any-tax-increase policy in the Legislature.  They know from first-hand experience that the 2/3 policy results in greater reforms, fiscal discipline, and expedites the process so that lengthy, expensive special sessions are avoided. 

*  6 times in 6 elections the voters have consistently supported the 2/3-for-any-tax-increase policy (I-601 in 1993, R-49 in 1998, I-960 in 2007, I-1053 in 2010, I-1185 in 2012, and I-1366 in 2015). 

*  The 25 members of the Majority Coalition Caucus represent legislative districts that are PACKED FULL of voters who overwhelmingly support the 2/3-for-any-tax-increase policy.  In the high turnout presidential year of 2012, when our Initiative 1185 got more votes than any initiative in state history, check out the level of voter support from each of their districts:

Senator John Braun (R) – 75% voter support
Senator Brian Dansel (R) – 75% voter support
Senator Randi Becker (R) – 74% voter support  
Senator Mike Padden (R) – 74% voter support
Senator Pam Roach (R) – 73% voter support
Senator Brad Hawkins (R) – 73% voter support
Senator Judy Warnick (R) – 73% voter support
Senator Sharon Brown (R) – 73% voter support
Senator Maureen Walsh (R) – 72% voter support
Senator Lynda Wilson (R) – 72% voter support
Senator Ann Rivers (R) – 72% voter support
Senator Kirk Pearson (R) – 72% voter support
Senator Hans Zeiger (R) – 71% voter support
Senator Joe Fain (R) – 70% voter support
Senator Curtis King (R) – 70% voter support
Senator Jan Angel (R) – 70% voter support
Senator Mark Schoesler (R) – 70% voter support
Senator Mark Miloscia (R) – 69% voter support
Senator Tim Sheldon (D) – 69% voter support
Senator Mike Baumgartner (R) – 68% voter support
Senator Barbara Bailey (R) – 68% voter support
Senator Jim Honeyford (R) – 68% voter support
Senator Steve O’Ban (R) – 67% voter support
Whomever replaces Senator Andy Hill (RIP) – 63% voter support
Senator Doug Ericksen (R) – 61% voter support

       These 25 heroic senators are simply representing their constituents’ consistent mandate and implementing a policy that 2/3 of voters strongly support.

       There are 18 swing district Democrat senators who have arrogantly refused to respect their voters’ wishes on this issue.  This January, when the floor vote is taken, will any of them vote with the unified MCC in favor of this voter-embraced policy?  We will see.  Here’s the level of voter support in each of their districts:

Democrat Dean Takko – 70% voter support
Democrat Steve Hobbs – 69% voter support
Democrat Mark Mullet – 68% voter support
Democrat Steve Conway – 68% voter support
Democrat John McCoy – 67% voter support
Democrat Annette Cleveland – 67% voter support
Democrat Kevin Van De Wege – 66% voter support
Democrat Andy Billig – 66% voter support
Democrat Karen Keiser – 64% voter support
*** Democrat Guy Palumbo – 64% voter support
Democrat Marko Liias – 63% voter support
Democrat Bob Hasegawa – 62% voter support
Democrat Maralyn Chase – 61% voter support
Democrat Christine Rolfes – 60% voter support
Whomever replaces Democrat Cyrus Habib – 60% voter support
Democrat Jeannie Darneille – 60% voter support
Democrat Kevin Ranker – 59% voter support
Democrat Sam Hunt – 54% voter support

*** Guy, this will be your first Senate vote representing the 1st district where nearly 2/3 of your constituents strongly support the 2/3.  You’ve repeatedly claimed you’re an independent Democrat, a different kind of Democrat.  On this floor vote, all eyes will be on you.  Are you a man of your word or are you just another lemming in the Democrats’ liberal caucus?  We’ll all be watching. 

       We couldn’t be happier that the members of the Majority Coalition Caucus have unified behind this cause.  We are so proud of you.  True leadership involves listening – and in this case, that’s exactly what you’re all doing by unanimously adopting this 2/3-for-any-tax-increase rule for the next two years. 

       Governor Inslee won’t like it.  Tax-obsessed Democrats won’t like it.  But you know what?  They didn’t put you 25 heroic senators in office — the people did.  And the people clearly support your decision to make it tougher to raise taxes with a 2/3-for-any-tax-increase rule.

      For more details, here is Mike and Doug’s announcement:  http://michaelbaumgartner.src.wastateleg.org/baumgartner-ericksen-seek-reinstatement-two-thirds-taxes-rule-senate/

      During next year’s legislative session, there will be a huge war over raising taxes.  But it’s clear from this election and previous elections that there is absolutely no public appetite for higher taxes. 

       You can count on us to keep fighting.  We are committed to stopping the Democrats’ tax-hiking insanity.  The voters’ passage of our Initiative 1366 last year certainly shows that the people are in no mood for any tax hikes, let alone increases totaling $3.5 billion.          

        Petitions for “We Love Our Cars” I-869 have been sent out (if you need more, just email or call).  Our polling shows it’s another big winner.  Please help us make it a reality.

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