Friday’s Senate debate on transportation finance legislation was abruptly terminated when Sen. Annette Cleveland, D-Vancouver, asked Lt. Gov. Brad Owen whether the bill would require a two-thirds supermajority to pass. On the first day of the session, the state Senate adopted a rule requiring a supermajority for new taxes. At the time, as the Seattle Times reported,
Existing taxes, like the sales or gas tax, could still be raised with a simple majority, said Sen. Joe Fain, R-Covington.
Still, the Senate legislation includes some provisions that may (always “may”) be subject to the supermajority requirement. A ruling is expected today.
“No matter how the lieutenant governor rules on this, we’ve got options to move forward,” said Fain, adding later: “If the lieutenant governor has some differences of opinion, because of different fees or whatnot, we’re happy to work through it.”
Real progress was made Friday, with passage of key reform bills. Expect this week to begin with more progress. Passage of a revenue bill is a key Opportunity Washington priority.