first_imgSEATTLE — A voter-approved initiative that requires a two-thirds majority of the Legislature to raise taxes or close tax loopholes violates the state constitution, a judge ruled Wednesday.Initiative 1053 was approved by Washington voters in November 2010 and has since made it difficult for lawmakers to adopt tax increases.King County Superior Court Judge Bruce E. Heller’s ruling likely will put the measure before the Washington Supreme Court this fall, as both sides agreed in advance that the case would be appealed no matter which way the judge ruled.Although the court previously ruled on the constitutionality of state initiatives, this case focuses on whether a supermajority can be implemented through the initiative process or whether an amendment to the Washington Constitution is required.Heller said in his ruling that the Constitution restricts the Legislature and the people’s ability to require a supermajority for passage of tax measures.Gov. Chris Gregoire said she was pleased with the decision because it recognizes the uncertainty that has impeded state government in its efforts to find solutions to its financial difficulties.last_img

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