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Levy Rule Debated

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The Washington state legislature will consider a proposal to do away with a state regulation that observers say makes it difficult for districts to pass tax levies for schools.

Currently, in order to approve a levy, a district needs the support of 60 percent of the voters who turn out. But the number of voters who approve the levy must also be equal to 40 percent of the turnout for the last general election, according to Michael T. McCarthy, administrative assistant for budget in the state department of public instruction.

For example, Mr. McCarthy said, "400 voters are needed to approve a levy if 1,000 voters turned out in the last general election. But if only 600 voters turn out to vote for the levy vote, a district needs 66 percent of voters to approve."

The legislative proposal, which has failed to win approval in previous sessions, would remove the requirement that the number voters who approve a levy equal 40 percent of the previous election turnout.

The argument against the proposal appears to stem from the fact that that levy elections are held between general elections, he said. Some legislators are concerned that if there is a small turnout the pro-school forces will control the vote.

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