Simple Majority for School Levies Fails to Pass Senate

The Senate today failed to pass Engrossed Substitute Senate Joint Resolution (ESJR) 8207, sponsored by Senator Tracey Eide (D-30, Federal Way) to amend the Washington Constitution to allow school excess levies to pass with a simple majority of votes (50% plus one). The vote was (30-17) and a constitutional amendment needs 33 votes to pass the Senate.

ESJR 8207 was amended on the Senate floor to apply the simple majority clause only if the levy is voted on during a general election. Senator James Hargrove (D-24, Hoquiam) sponsored the amendment. If a levy is put forward at another time of year, the current requirements would apply (60 percent majority and 40 percent of total voters voting in the last preceding general election.

After the vote, Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown (D-3, Spokane) moved to allow the bill to be reconsidered by the Senate at a later date.

If the bill were to be passed by the Legislature, it would be put before the voters for a vote in November 2007. It would need to receive a simple majority of voters to be adopted.