Schmudget Blog

I-1053’s Supermajority Requirement is Excessive and Unreasonable

Posted by Andy Nicholas at Jul 22, 2010 12:00 PM |

Initiative 1053, one of the five ballot measures examined in the latest policy brief from the Budget & Policy Center, would undermine legislative flexibility and rational decision-making at time when these attributes are most needed. Among other things, the measure would reinstate a requirement that all tax increases – no matter how small – be subject to a public referendum vote or a supermajority (two-thirds) vote in the legislature.  

The supermajority requirement distorts rational decision-making by elected officials. Even in normal economic times, the requirement gives a small minority of lawmakers the ability to obstruct important legislation. The supermajority mandate is especially problematic during recessions, when a handful of legislators can block measures needed to preserve basic public services and prevent further economic damage. 

This year, lawmakers temporarily suspended the expanded supermajority requirement that was established under I-960 – an action that allowed them to enact a modest package of revenue enhancements needed to protect fundamental public services like health care and education.

If enacted, I-1053 would prematurely reinstate the supermajority requirement, making it virtually impossible for legislators to adopt a rational and balanced approach to Washington’s ongoing economic problems in the coming year. 

To read the entire paper, please visit our website.

Document Actions
HIGHLIGHTS

Sign Up for #BudgetMatters17!

We will host two Budget Matters policy summits this year – one in Spokane on October 31 and one in Seattle on December 6! 

Our Policy Priorities

Washington state should be a place where all our residents have strong communities, great schools, and the chance for a bright future. Our 2017-2019 Legislative Agenda outlines the priorities we are working to advance to build a better Washington.

Budget Beat!

Check out the Budget Beat webinars we hosted throughout the 2017 legislative session, including our most recent Budget Beat about federal budget proposals, featuring Louisa Warren of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, on our YouTube channel

Testimonies in Olympia

To advance our legislative priorities, the Budget & Policy Center team was in the state capitol throughout session testifying on a wide range of bills. Watch our testimonies on TVW:
Misha TVW