But Senate Democrats say they accidentally voted on the wrong vers - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

State Senate starts clearing way for tax hikes, but voted on wrong version of the bill

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(The bill has to be signed into law by Gov. Gregoire before any tax
increases can be passed by the State Legislature, but Senate
Democrats said Tuesday night they accidentally voted on the wrong
version of the bill)


OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) _ The Legislature's Democratic majority is clearing the way for tax increases with its first major vote to brush aside Initiative 960.

But Senate Democrats say they accidentally voted on the wrong version of the bill, and will have to re-vote on a different bill as soon as possible.

In a 26-23 vote Tuesday, the Senate moved to suspend until July 2011 the requirement that any tax increases get approval from two-thirds of the Legislature.

Majority Democrats say they need to raise taxes to help balance the state budget. Republicans resisted the change, saying the majority was thwarting the will of voters.

But in an unusual Tuesday night statement, Senate Democrats say they actually meant to suspend all of I-960, including public advisory votes on tax hikes.

In January, suggested some ways to raise more taxes by rewriting the tax code, but said she's leaving straight-ahead tax increases to the Legislature.

Gregoire told a joint session of the Legislature that she doesn't want taxes to harm the economic recovery of the state, but Gregoire also says she can't abandon her values or "eliminate the safety net for our most needy and cripple our economic future."

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Last week the state was awarded $590 million for projects related to high-speed rail, pushing the total amount the state is set to receive to more than $8 billion.
     
Gov. Chris Gregoire says about 45,000 jobs have been retained or created since the stimulus money first started being released early last year. About 14,000 of those have come since October.

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