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Public Radio Poll: 64% Oppose Democrats' Suspension Of I-960

Majority Democrats in the Washington legislature appear to have crossed voters in a big way. A new public radio poll shows a hefty 64-percent of Washingtonians oppose the decision to suspend a voter initiative requiring a two-thirds vote for tax hikes.

Austin Jenkins has details.

In 2007, Washington voters approved Initiative 960 requiring a high hurdle for tax increases – a super-majority vote out of the legislature.

Last week, Governor Chris Gregoire signed into law a suspension of that rule. It paves the way for majority Democrats in the Washington legislature to raise taxes this year with a simple majority vote to help balance a $2.7B budget gap.

Pollster Adam Davis says Washington voters are clearly angry and disagree with this move.

Adam Davis: “They're hurting, number one. They really feel government is not delivering. They want to have some control. And they feel that something like a super-majority gives them that control.”

Davis adds that public discontent with state government is the worst he's seen in 30 years. Anti-tax activist Tim Eyman sponsored Initiative 960.

He's back again this year with a new initiative to reinstate the two-thirds vote requirement.

The survey of 1200 people in Washington, Oregon and Idaho is a collaboration of the Northwest Health Foundation, pollsters Davis, Hibbitts and Midghall, and Northwest public radio stations.