Washington Tax & Spending Limits, Initiative 601 (1993)

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The Washington Tax and Spending Limits Initiative, also known as Initiative 601, was on the November 2, 1993 ballot in Washington as an Initiative to the People, where it was approved, but later overturned. The measure would have limited state expenditures by inflation rates and population growth and would have required a referendum for taxes exceeding the limit.[1]


See also: League of Education Voters v. Washington State

On February 28, 2013, the Washington Supreme Court issued its ruling on League of Educ. Voters v. State and, in doing so, declared legislation requiring a supermajority vote for tax legislation unconstitutional. The challenge was initially filed against Initiative 1053, but is part of a larger issue concerning similar initiatives beginning in 1993 with Initiative 601.

The court found such supermajority requirements to be in violation of Washington Constitution, Article II, Section 22, which states that no bill shall become law unless a majority of each chamber votes in favor of it. The court's ruling concludes with,

Our holding today is not a judgment on the wisdom of requiring a supermajority for the passage of tax legislation. Such judgment is left to the legislative branch of our government. Should the people and the legislature still wish to require a supermajority vote for tax legislation, they must do so through constitutional amendment, not through legislation.


Washington Supreme Court


Election results

Washington Initiative 601 (1993)
OverturnedotOverturned Case:League of Educ. Voters v. State 87425-5 (2013)
Yes 774,342 51.21%

Election results via: Washington Secretary of State

Text of measure

The language appeared on the ballot as:[1]

Shall state expenditures be limited by inflation rates and population growth, and taxes exceeding the limit be subject to referendum?[4]

Path to the ballot

Initiative 601 was filed on March 5, 1993 by Gregory J. Seifert of Vancouver. 249,707 signatures were submitted to qualify it for the ballot. The measure was placed on the ballot as provided for by the state constitution.[7]

See also

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