ESJR 8218



BYSenators McDonald, Bluechel, Stratton, Rasmussen, Craswell, Owen, Anderson, Conner, West and Sutherland



Amending the Constitution to require a two-thirds vote of the legislature in order to create or increase any state tax.



Senate Committee on Ways & Means


     Senate Hearing Date(s):February 16, 1989; February 22, 1989


Majority Report:     Do pass as amended.

     Signed by Senators McDonald, Chairman; Craswell, Vice Chairman; Amondson, Bailey, Bluechel, Cantu, Hayner, Johnson, Lee, Matson, Newhouse, Owen.


Minority Report:     Do not pass.

     Signed by Senators Bauer, Fleming, Gaspard, Moore, Niemi, Talmadge, Warnke, Williams, Wojahn.


     Senate Staff:Bill Freund (786-7715)

                March 17, 1989



                       AS PASSED SECOND READING




To change Washington's tax laws requires approval by a simple majority of each house of the Legislature.  This is the same requirement as most other legislation.  Measures requiring a 60 percent vote of each house are as follows:  authorizing a bond sale without a vote of the people; changes in state statutes expanding the definition of industrial development projects for non-recourse revenue bond purposes; and authorizing lotteries.


Proposed amendments to the state Constitution require a two- thirds vote of the members of each house of the Legislature and approval by a majority of the voters.


To make it more difficult to increase taxes, seven states have adopted "super majority" requirements.  Rather than needing a simple majority vote of the Legislature for a tax increase, these states require three-fifths to three-fourths favorable vote.




To enact a new state tax or increase the rate or the base of an existing state tax requires a favorable vote of three- fifths of the members of each house of the Legislature.  Initiatives are not subject to these requirements.


Appropriation:  none


Revenue:   none


Fiscal Note:    none requested


Senate Committee - Testified:   Ruth Hertzberg, League of Women Voters; Enid Layes, AWB; Linda Matson, National Federation of Independent Business; Michelle Radovsevich, Department of Revenue; Len McComb; OFM; Karen Davis, WEA; Richard Cooley, Roundtable; Gary Smith, IBA