Warning issued to the Secretary of State: don’t violate I-960

by | Aug 6, 2012

Warning issued to the Secretary of State:  don’t violate I-960
        Irony alert:  voter-approved I-960 was sponsored to get the legislature to follow the law when it came to raising taxes.  This week, our attorney sent a letter to the Secretary of State telling him to follow the law when it comes to I-960.
        Under I-960, when the legislature unilaterally imposes a tax increase and doesn’t let the people vote on it, the people get a chance to learn how much that increase will cost (as calculated by the state’s budget office) and how legislators voted on the bill and how to contact them.  It also gives voters the opportunity to vote, telling legislators what they should do about the increase — “Should this tax increase be:  Repealed __ Maintained __”.  That information is to go on 2 pages of the voters pamphlet (1 page front-and-back and another page front-and-back).
        Last week, the Attorney General determined that the legislature imposed 2 tax increases this year.  I-960 specified what information goes in the voters pamphlet for “Advisory Vote of the People #1” (AV-1) and “Advisory Vote of the People #2” (AV-2).  But on Wednesday, the Secretary of State’s office sent out an email saying they were going to add other stuff (like the lengthy text of the bills) that needlessly complicates and unnecessarily inflates the costs. 
        Our attorney’s Thursday letter makes it clear that unless they reverse course and follow I-960’s requirements as written, we will file a legal challenge.  It’s a simple warning to the Secretary of State:  don’t violate the law.
        From now on, thanks to the voters approving I-960 in 2007 (and I-1185 in November), we give legislators another reason to think twice about raising taxes:  their legislative votes on tax increases will be published in the voters pamphlet and they’ll know that their constituents will have the chance to second-guess their vote.  This will prod legislators to think harder about what their constituents want before they cast their vote for a tax increase bill.
      Jack, Mike, and I only ask for compensation after the signature drive is completed Now that I-1185 has made it, please don’t forget about us.