Sunday, February 21, 2010

Legislature killed public disclosure on tax increases. Gregoire?

Our legislature was busy the past two weeks overriding our votes on I-960 and previously to require a 2/3 majority to increase taxes. Tim Eyman covered this. Which representatives and senators voted to increase the sales tax and claimed it was temporary? I-960 also had provisions to provide transparency on tax increases - the details of each tax increase and the names of who votes for or against them. It added RCW 29A.32.070
"Two pages shall be provided in the general election voters' pamphlet for each measure for an advisory vote of the people under RCW 43.135.041 and shall consist of the serial number assigned by the secretary of state under RCW 29A.72.040, the short description formulated by the attorney general under RCW 29A.72.283, the tax increase's most up-to-date ten-year cost projection, including a year-by-year breakdown, by the office of financial management under RCW 43.135.031, and the names of the legislators, and their contact information, and how they voted on the increase upon final passage so they can provide information to, and answer questions from, the public. For the purposes of this subsection, 'names of legislators, and their contact information' includes each legislator's position (senator or representative), first name, last name, party affiliation (for example, Democrat or Republican), city or town they live in, office phone number, and office e-mail address.
SB 6130 killed this transparency requirement; it didn't repeal that section, but provides an end run around it for two years. I am shocked that our legislature would want to hide when passing tax increases. They are going around right now saying it is their solemn duty to raise taxes. Aren't they proud of their responsible actions? Why hide disclosure of what they did? Christine Gregoire can stop the legislature in its tracks by using her line-item veto to remove the provisions that end-run the transparency provision of RCW 29A.32.070. Surely she is in favor of our legislators being responsible for their actions. Source: WA Policy Institute on 2/10/10 and 2/17/10.

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