While things may look bleak on the environmental front here in Washington State, we did have at least one legal decision Washingtonians could set firmly in the win column a week and a half ago and another, a decision last week by the State Attorney General to appeal a previously lost court case to the SCOTUS, that we can at least take out of the loss column.
In 1993, Washington voters approved of Citizen’s Initiative 601 that held spending limits to a certain percentage of the state’s income from taxes unless approved by a statewide vote. In order to balance the state budget, state legisltors had to do some creative accounting, creating a stack of new sin taxes and then moving that money around, making it look like they were taking in more money so that they could spend more money.
A county judge made the proper decision, saying that if the state is going to increase taxes in that manner, they first need to be approved by the voters.
I’m all in favor of sin taxes as a way to collect money, I just want my fellow Washingtonians to be in favor of them as well before we have to start paying them.
Of course, that kind of thinking makes me an anti-tax red-meanie to the “Please Tax Us More” left.
As for the now ‘Non-Loss’; a few years back voters approved another Citizen’s Initiative, this one was #134 and it passed with 73% in favor. It held that the Washington Education Association could not spend the union dues collected from employees as political activity without first getting permission from the union members.
Of course, the WEA told the voters to stuff it and did their thing anyway, causing such a furor that then Attourney General, Christine Gregiore, had to bow to public pressure and file a lawsuit against them.
The lawsuit was so craptastic that it failed.
But now that we have a competent Attorney General in Republican Rob McKenna, the suit is being rewritten and filed for appeal to the SCOTUS.
Good on McKenna. And here’s to a ruling in favor of the citizens.