Last Friday, the House voted narrowly (and twice) to pass legislation that suspends I-601. If you remember, this is the famous voter initiative that requires a supermajority (two-thirds) vote of the legislature to increase taxes.
Among the Democrats voting against this bill were Representative Kelli Linville (D-Bellingham), Rep. Tami Green (D-Tacoma), Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-Gig Harbor) and Reps. Dawn Morrell (D-Puyallup) and Rep. Larry Springer (D-Kirkland)…actually strike that; Reps. Morrell and Springer voted against it before they voted for it. The vote was taken twice because the first time it didn’t receive a Constitutional majority of 50 votes. The Democrats did not like the first outcome of the vote and a motion to reconsider was made so the D-caucus could whip come of their members back. Before you applaud the other three for a brief stint of conservative voting, consider this:
Just a week earlier the House passed its budget bill that includes a tax increase of nearly a half billion dollars and a 12% increase in spending – the highest in a decade! Linville, Green and Kilmer all voted in favor of this bill.
The Democratic controlled House and Senate needed to suspend I-601 to make their budget package work because they knew they didn’t have a supermajority to pass the tax increases in either chamber. So how can these legislators vote in favor of a half-billion dollar tax hike, and then vote against the mechanism to make this possible? Clearly theirs is a political interest rather than a representative one. Kilmer, Green and Springer are all freshmen and have voted conservatively all session long to protect their vulnerable seats. Linville is a legislator who will always ride the fence and please both sides of her constituency and never really takes a stand on these huge issues.
What this comes down to is job security before representation. It’s not that these legislators don’t agree with the tax and spend mentality. Keep that in mind when their voting record is brought up in next year’s elections. They are just as much to blame as the rest. This is a ideological conflict, not a political one.