As we wait for the Washington State Supreme Court to rule this morning on the constitutionality of Tim Eyman's 2/3 majority requirement, it's worth considering what a stranglehold that requirement has placed on our state government's ability to serve its citizens during the Great Recession:
"It's been incredibly frustrating," said Representative Jamie Pedersen (D-43), one of several state lawmakers who filed suit against Eyman's initiative... "Our offices are filled every session, for the last five sessions, with people who are going to lose their health care, whose kids are in overcrowded classrooms, people who aren't able to go to college—I mean, literally, fill in the blank for all the services the state does—and we aren't able to do anything about it, because of the two-thirds requirement."
Describing the legislative despair this has produced, Pedersen continued: "The only thing we can do when we have a budget shortfall is cut services. So we've just done that over and over again. It's discouraging, heartbreaking, depressing. I mean, it makes you feel completely powerless because we can't even have a debate about raising taxes."
Pedersen and many others have been saying for years that Eyman has made a sneaky end-run around the state constitution.
Later this morning, we'll find out whether a majority of the state supreme court justices agree.