Monday, April 12, 2010

Further hilarity in Olympia

The Evergreen Freedom Foundation asks the musical question Can the legislature amend a law that doesn't exist?:
The "rush" to adopt a tax package now has the Washington Legislature amending non-existing laws. Among the taxes adopted by the House on Saturday (ESSB 6143) was a temporary sales tax on bottled water, set to expire June 30, 2013.

Yesterday the Senate Ways and Means Committee adopted a striker amendment to ESB 2561 that converts the temporary tax on bottled water to a permanent tax. But there's a problem. The bill creating the temporary tax hasn't passed the Senate and has yet to be signed by the governor.

This poses a constitutional problem with the tax package currently before the Senate. The Washington Constitution (art. II, sec. 37) states: "No act shall ever be revised or amended by mere reference to its title, but the act revised or the section amended shall be set forth at full length."

Tim Eyman's property rights initiative I-747 ran afoul of this constitutional provision when the state Supreme Court determined the initiative failed to accurately set forth the law the initiative sought to amend.

Will the Washington Legislature be held to the same standard?
I'd ask what else those buffoons could screw up, but I'm afraid they'd take it as a challenge...

No comments: