Gov. Christine Gregoire tonight signed the 1 percent property tax cap passed in the special session. She also signed the second bill passed by the Legislature, the property tax deferral program for middle-income families. She said that second bill was part of what she needed to do to secure enough votes to reinstate I-747.
Gregoire said that she didn't think the session had anything to do with Tim Eyman, sponsor of the original initiative. She was not happy with Eyman's claims that she and the Legislature had not done enough.
Gregoire: And my message to him is if he'd like to participate in the legislative process, run for office.
PoP: But why? It seems like he's doing pretty well without having to be governor or run for the Legislature. He passes an initiative, the court throws it out as unconstitutional and the Legislature rushes to put it into law. They did it with 695, too.
Gregoire: I actually don't think he's doing pretty well. He needs to get some help in writing initiatives. We're spending how much money and how much time in court proceedings because the initiatives are not written as they should be? That's what the legislative process is all about — to allow full and complete vetting and amendments and opportunities to do the sorts of things that can clean up a bill and give it a much greater chance of success through the court process.
So I don't know if you can call that success, to be honest with you. And the fact of the matter is, this has nothing to do with Tim Eyman as far as I'm concerned. I think the voters said very clearly what they wanted. And he may have written something. But the fact of the matter is my motivation is what the voters had to say. And the voters said they're fearful about whether they're going to be able to keep their homes.
It's been implemented now for five years or more. It is, in fact, the way we've been doing business. So I don't think this is a rush to judgment by the Legislature. I think it is exactly what the voters want to have done.
PoP: But they only got to have that say and say they want it done because Tim Eyman put it on the ballot. The Legislature has not passed a property tax cap.
Gregoire: You know, I can't say that they wouldn't have, though. They did something today that he hasn't suggested.
PoP: The deferral you're talking about.