Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, on Monday challenged the constitutionality of the Senate Republican’s two-thirds procedural rule to create new taxes; a challenge which was upheld by the Lieutenant Governor. Hobbs explained his move in the statement below:

“While I’m no fan of taxes, in fact I think I’ve voted against them at almost every opportunity, I’m also not a fan of gridlock and political ideology taking precedent over responsible legislating and compromise.

“Our state is overly reliant on working families to shoulder the tax burden. When Republicans adopted the 2/3rds rule on the very first day of the 2015 session and applied it only to “new taxes” they ensured those same working families would continue to shoulder that burden.

“I think all taxes should be held to the same standard. What the two-thirds rule implies is that existing taxes Washingtonians currently pay – sales tax, property tax and taxes on small businesses – can be raised with a simple majority of Senators.

“But if the Senate were to create new taxes, say to help solve our K-12 funding crisis, then taxes paid for by those who can actually afford it would be held to a higher standard.

“I firmly believe taxes should be a last resort. But if taxes are going to be a part of the K-12 funding solution, isn’t it only fair to hold all taxes to the same standard?”