Posted on July 16th, 2007 in Colorado Politics, General, Random and Miscellaneous | 2 Comments »
It seems like whenever another state proposes a taxpayer-friendly ballot measure, the big government crowd turns up the scare factor by looking at Colorado and dredging up the same discredited and refuted statistics [PDF - full disclosure: I am the author of the linked Independence Institute publication].
The latest round comes from Washington State, where proponents are pushing Initiative 960 to require lawmakers to reach a supermajority or receive voter consent in order to raise taxes. Admittedly, I don’t know a lot about the measure itself, though it sounds like a fine idea on its face.
What has me convinced that Washington State likely would benefit from the proposal is the fact that leading opponents have dug into the well of misleading arguments, using Colorado as their trumped up case study. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer appears to be carrying the water for opponents. Writes lawyer and guest columnist Knoll Lowney:
I-960 is loosely patterned after a 1992 constitutional amendment enacted in Colorado. After its passage there, Colorado fell to 49th in education funding and dead last in the number of children who received their full vaccinations from disease. Ultimately, Colorado had to pull the plug on the failed experiment to start recovering its economy. That’s not what we want for Washington.
In the Post-Intelligencer blog, writer Chris McGann uncritically quotes a spokesperson for the Washington Education Association (WEA) (recently slapped down hard by a unanimous decision of the U.S. Supreme Court):
“When Colorado passed a measure with similar supermajority requirements, their education funding dropped to 49th in the nation,” said Mary Lindquist, President of the Washington Education Association. “It isn’t idle speculation, it’s fact: when you tie the hands of the legislature on their number one constitutional requirement, education funding, there will be effects in the classroom.”