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Originally published Tuesday, November 6, 2012 at 7:37 PM

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Tax initiative requiring two-thirds vote wins handily

Initiative 1185, sponsored by Tim Eyman, has been overwhelmingly approved by voters.

Seattle Times Olympia bureau

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An initiative that reimposes a law requiring a two-thirds vote in the state Legislature, or voter approval, to increase taxes won handily Tuesday.

Initiative 1185, sponsored by Tim Eyman and approved by a vote of 64 to 36 percent, comes at a time when the state budget and the economy are still struggling and the state Supreme Court has mandated increased funding for public schools.

Eyman said the two-thirds vote requirement should be made permanent and he'll push lawmakers to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot next year. "It's simply silly we have to do this every two years," he said.

Eyman contends I-1185 is needed, because the last two-thirds requirement was approved by voters in 2010. Under state law, it takes a supermajority in the Legislature to change or repeal an initiative the first two years after passage — a near political impossibility.

But after two years have elapsed, only a simple majority vote is required.

Opponents of the measure are closely watching a lawsuit filed last year by Democratic state lawmakers and others.

The lawsuit argues the two-thirds requirement is unconstitutional.

A King County Superior Court judge agreed with the challengers in May.

The case is now before the state Supreme Court. It's not clear when the court will rule.

Andrew Garber: 360-236-8266 or agarber@seattletimes.com

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