Breaking News
More () »

Seattle's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and More | Seattle, Washington | KING5.com

Bill allowing simple majority for Washington school bonds dies in Senate

A bill that would make it easier for Washington school districts to pass bonds failed in the Senate.

Washington school districts will continue to need a 60 percent supermajority to pass bond measures after a bill died on the Senate floor Tuesday. The bill, sponsored by Senator Lisa Wellman, would have lowered the threshold to a simple majority.

Since the bill would have meant amending the state’s constitution, it needed a two-thirds majority in both the House and Senate to pass. While the majority of the Senate voted in favor of the bill, it did not reach the required two-thirds majority.

Washington voters also would have needed to approve the measure if it passed the House and Senate.

“We’ve been hearing from schools for years, for decades, that we need to change the 60-percent requirement for school bond passage,” said Wellman, D-Mercer Island. “Meanwhile, student health and safety is being put at risk as school districts are unable to raise the funds for necessary school improvements."

Had the bill not reached the Senate floor, it would have died Wednesday at 5 p.m., which is the deadline for bills to pass out of their house of origin, either the state House or Senate.

“This was a shot,” said Wellman. “You get one shot.”

Other bills that have not come up for votes include a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, legislation making a driver’s fourth DUI within 15 years a felony, and a bill outlawing dwarf-tossing events.

Previous: Failed Pierce County school bond revives supermajority debate