Washington Senate approves curb on new taxes

first_imgOn the opening day of the 2015 legislative session, the state Senate voted to make it harder for itself to increase taxes — a move Democrats criticized as a path to gridlock.The new rule, filed by Senate Majority Leader Mark Schoesler of Ritzville, would require a two-thirds vote before a tax measure could be brought to the Senate floor for final passage. Twenty six senators voted in favor of the rule change. “It really makes me sad to see my colleagues across the aisle demonstrate their lack of respect for this institution,” Sen. Annette Cleveland, D-Vancouver said. “Senate rules have served our state well for over 100 years and an attempt to add this two-thirds requirement, sadly, in my mind, opens the door for gridlock in our state similar to what we’ve seen in Congress.” The change only applies to the Senate and would only be applicable to new taxes, such as the governor’s proposed tax on polluters. A simple majority would still be required for raising existing taxes, such as the sales tax. Leading up to the legislative session, lawmakers from both parties touted a commitment toward bipartisanship. Lawmakers have 105 days to tackle a wide range of difficult issues, including how to adequately fund the state’s public schools and how to address its transportation needs.last_img

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