Court challenge filed against I-1053

The Olympian reported in July:

I-1053: Filers say initiative violates state constitution, endangers education

The League of Education Voters and several House Democrats filed a lawsuit Monday [July, 25, 2011] in King County to challenge the voter-approved two-thirds legislative vote requirement for tax increases. They say the limit in Initiative 1053 violates the state constitution and hampers the state’s ability to improve its public schools at a time of severe budget cuts.

Professional initiative backer Tim Eyman sponsored I-1053 last year, and voters approved it with a 64 percent yes vote. But the lawsuit says only a constitutional amendment could put such a restriction on lawmakers – not an initiative.

“Washington’s Constitution makes it clear the state’s paramount duty is to ‘make ample provision’ for the education of every child,” LEV chief executive officer Chris Korsmo said in an announcement of the suit, which the LEV, Washington Education Association and a dozen House Democrats filed in King County. “This statute, and similar measures enacted in recent years, hamstrings our state’s ability to invest in the quality public schools our children need to succeed in life.”

Eyman reacted with a mixture of anger and opportunism to the lawsuit Monday, saying voters are clear they want a higher standard for raising taxes.

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