Schmudget Blog

I-1053’s Supermajority Requirement is Excessive and Unreasonable

Posted by Andy Nicholas at Jul 22, 2010 04:00 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.

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HIGHLIGHTS

Legislative Testimony

Senior Budget Analyst Kim Justice recently testified before Senate Ways and Means against a bill that would fund education at the expense of other budget investments. Watch it here. 

Kim 5881

Inside Olympia

Executive Director Remy Trupin appeared on TVW's "Inside Olympia" to discuss the budget, revenue options, and the impact of the McCleary decision going forward. The whole interview can be found here. 

Remy TVW -March 14


Budget Matters 2013

More than 300 people -- advocates, students, lawmakers, and policy experts joined us for our second annual policy conference. We heard from Heather McGhee, Jared Bernstein, and Governor Inslee.

Click here for video clips, photos, and PowerPoint presentations from the break-out sessions.

Our new video has highlights from the day. 

Heather McGhee


Save the date for this year's conference: Friday, December 12th, 2014 at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle.