Gregoire to bypass AG, seek ruling on tax voting

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire is bypassing the attorney general's office and seeking court guidance on the constitutionality of a law limiting tax increases.

Gregoire said Thursday she is working with outside counsel to petition the courts for a ruling on Initiative 1053, which requires lawmakers to a have a two-thirds majority to raise taxes. Voters widely approved that measure in 2010, essentially removing taxes as an option for balancing the budget.

Some Democratic lawmakers have signed on to a lawsuit filed this summer that argues the law is unconstitutional because it prevents the state from meeting its obligation to schools. Initiative promoter Tim Eyman says the lawsuit pokes a finger in the eye of voters.

A spokeswoman for Attorney General Rob McKenna did not immediately return a call seeking comment.