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Feb. 5, 2023

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Senate panel backs constitutional amendment for supermajority

The Columbian

Supermajority tax-rule decision splits local legislators, officials

State Supreme Court strikes down two-thirds legislative vote for raising taxes

OLYMPIA — The Republican-controlled Senate Ways and Means Committee has voted to constitutionally require the Legislature to have a two-thirds majority in both chambers in order to pass a tax increase. The vote on Thursday comes hours after the Washington Supreme Court struck down an initiative-passed law requiring the legislative supermajority for tax hikes on constitutional grounds.

The measure passed by a 13-10 vote, with all Republicans voting in favor and all Democrats except Sen. Rodney Tom of Medina voting against.

The bill faces an uphill battle to pass into law. It would need a two-thirds majority in both the Senate and the Democratic-controlled House as well as a majority vote of the people.