HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION 4227
State of Washington 52nd Legislature 1991 Regular Session
By Representatives Anderson, Miller, R. Fisher, Brough and Ferguson.
Read first time February 22, 1991. Referred to Committee on State Government.
BE IT RESOLVED, BY THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON, IN LEGISLATIVE SESSION ASSEMBLED:
THAT, At the next general election to be held in this state there shall be submitted to the qualified voters of the state for their approval and ratification, or rejection, the following amendment to Article II of the Constitution of the state of Washington:
SECTION 1. A new section is added to Article II of the Constitution of the state of Washington to read as follows:
Section 15. VACANCIES IN LEGISLATURE AND CERTAIN COUNTY OFFICES. Except as provided in subsections (4) and (6) of this section, vacancies that occur in the state legislature or in any elective office of the executive or legislative branch of county government shall be filled by appointment by the legislative authority or legislative authorities of the county or counties in which the vacancy occurs.
(1) RESIDENCY. A person appointed to fill a vacancy in the state legislature shall be a resident of the legislative district for which the vacancy occurs.
A person appointed to fill a vacancy in a county elective office shall be a resident of that county. When a vacancy occurs in the office of the member of a county legislative authority and a person elected to that office is nominated or elected by district, the person appointed to fill the vacancy shall be a resident of the district for which the vacancy occurs.
(2) NOMINEES. Except as provided by this subsection, a person appointed to fill a vacancy in a partisan office under this section shall be from the same political party as the person whose office has been vacated and shall be appointed from a list of three persons nominated by that political party. Party nominees shall be designated by the county central committee of the political party unless the vacancy occurs in a state legislative district containing territory from more than one county, in which case the nominees shall be designated by the state central committee of the political party. Party nominees shall be designated within the time prescribed by statute for making such nominations.
If the person whose office has been vacated was elected to the office as an independent, if the vacated office is a nonpartisan office, if political party nominations for filling the vacancy are not made within the time prescribed by statute, or if the appointments are being made by the governor to establish a majority of filled positions on a county legislative authority, any person who is legally qualified to run for and hold the office may be appointed to fill the vacancy.
(3) MULTICOUNTY LEGISLATIVE DISTRICTS. Vacancies that occur in a state legislative district containing territory from more than one county shall be filled by appointment by the collective action of the county legislative authorities of the counties with territory in the district, voting in joint session. A proportional voting method prescribed by the legislature by statute shall be used which ensures that the cumulative voting weight of each county's legislative authority amounts to the county's proportion of the total number of votes cast for the vacated position in the last election conducted for the vacated office.
(4) APPOINTMENT BY GOVERNOR. If a vacancy governed by this section is not filled by the county legislative authority or authorities within the time prescribed by statute for filling such a vacancy, the governor shall appoint a person to fill the vacancy within the time prescribed by statute for the governor to fill such a vacancy.
If the majority of positions on a county legislative authority are vacant, the governor shall appoint to the legislative authority that number of persons necessary to establish a majority of filled positions. The appointments shall be made within the time prescribed by statute for the governor to make such appointments.
(5) TERM OF OFFICE. A person appointed to fill a vacancy in an office under this section shall hold office until a successor (a) is elected at the next general election held for the office as prescribed by statute and (b) has been qualified.
(6) "HOME RULE" COUNTIES. The requirements established by this section for filling vacancies in county elective offices or for the term of office of a person appointed to fill such a vacancy do not apply to a county that has adopted and operates under a "Home Rule" charter under section 4 or 16 of Article XI to the extent that the requirements are inconsistent with the county's "Home Rule" charter.
(7) IMPLEMENTING LAWS. The legislature shall prescribe the time within which state and county central committees must submit lists of nominees, within which a county legislative authority or county legislative authorities must agree upon an appointment, and within which the governor must make appointments under this section. The legislature shall also prescribe a proportional voting method to be used by county legislative authorities, making an appointment to fill a vacancy in joint session under this section, which satisfies the requirements of subsection (3) of this section.
SECTION 2. Article II, section 15 as it existed prior to the ratification of this amendment is repealed.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the foregoing amendment shall be construed as a single amendment within the meaning of Article XXIII, section 1 of the state Constitution.
The legislature finds that the changes contained in the foregoing amendment constitute a single integrated plan for revising procedures for filling vacancies in state legislative and county elective offices. If the foregoing amendment is held to be separate amendments, this joint resolution shall be void in its entirety and shall be of no further force and effect.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the secretary of state shall cause notice of the foregoing constitutional amendment to be published at least four times during the four weeks next preceding the election in every legal newspaper in the state.