News that a judge ruled Tim Eyman’s latest tax initiative unconstitutional on Thursday reverberated through the statehouse this week.

Voters approved Initiative 1366, which forced lawmakers to choose between allowing a vote to require a two-thirds supermajority to raise taxes or cut the sales tax by 1 percent.

Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee praised the judge’s decision.

“Today’s ruling is not unexpected and ensures the Legislature can continue focusing on the necessary priorities of this year’s short session relating to McCleary, the state’s teacher shortage and funding for mental health and wildfires. I appreciate the Court’s expeditious review of the case so legislators aren’t distracted by the uncertainty of the initiative’s impact,” he said in a statement.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mark Schoesler said Republicans have introduced a measure to allow voters to weigh in on a constitutional amendment.

“I would prefer to send this constitutional amendment to the people and let them decide. The Legislature can do that regardless of today’s ruling. I-1366 was the sixth time the voters have said that they want a two-thirds majority vote for new taxes. And they voted for it knowing full well that our failure to pass this legislation could mean a big hit to the budget … New taxes should always be a last resort and the people of Washington agree. Let them decide if a higher standard for approving tax increases should be included in our state constitution, where it would be safe from being overturned or undermined in the future,” Schoesler said in a statement.

On Friday afternoon, Eyman said in an email he had filed an appeal to the state Supreme Court.

Lauren Dake

Lauren Dake

Lauren Dake covers politics for The Columbian. You can reach her at 360-735-4534 or Follow her on Twitter .

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