HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION 4200
State of Washington 57th Legislature 2001 Regular Session
By Representatives Morris, H. Sommers, Dickerson, Linville, D. Schmidt, McIntire, Rockefeller and Edmonds
Read first time 01/08/2001. 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 the secretary of state shall submit to the qualified voters of the state for their approval and ratification, or rejection, an amendment to Article II, section 1 of the Constitution of the state of Washington to read as follows:
Article II, section 1. The legislative authority of the state of Washington shall be vested in the legislature, consisting of a senate and house of representatives, which shall be called the legislature of the state of Washington, but the people reserve to themselves the power to propose bills, laws, and to enact or reject the same at the polls, independent of the legislature, and also reserve power, at their own option, to approve or reject at the polls any act, item, section, or part of any bill, act, or law passed by the legislature.
(a) Initiative: The first power reserved by the people is the initiative. Every such petition shall include the full text of the measure so proposed. In the case of initiatives to the legislature and initiatives to the people, the number of valid signatures of legal voters required shall be equal to eight percent of the votes cast for the office of governor at the last gubernatorial election preceding the initial filing of the text of the initiative measure with the secretary of state.
Initiative petitions shall be filed with the secretary of state not less than four months before the election at which they are to be voted upon, or not less than ten days before any regular session of the legislature. If filed at least four months before the election at which they are to be voted upon, he shall submit the same to the vote of the people at the said election. If such petitions are filed not less than ten days before any regular session of the legislature, he shall certify the results within forty days of the filing. If certification is not complete by the date that the legislature convenes, he shall provisionally certify the measure pending final certification of the measure. Such initiative measures, whether certified or provisionally certified, shall take precedence over all other measures in the legislature except appropriation bills and shall be either enacted or rejected without change or amendment by the legislature before the end of such regular session. If any such initiative measures shall be enacted by the legislature it shall be subject to the referendum petition, or it may be enacted and referred by the legislature to the people for approval or rejection at the next regular election. If it is rejected or if no action is taken upon it by the legislature before the end of such regular session, the secretary of state shall submit it to the people for approval or rejection at the next ensuing regular general election. The legislature may reject any measure so proposed by initiative petition and propose a different one dealing with the same subject, and in such event both measures shall be submitted by the secretary of state to the people for approval or rejection at the next ensuing regular general election. When conflicting measures are submitted to the people the ballots shall be so printed that a voter can express separately by making one cross (X) for each, two preferences, first, as between either measure and neither, and secondly, as between one and the other. If the majority of those voting on the first issue is for neither, both fail, but in that case the votes on the second issue shall nevertheless be carefully counted and made public. If a majority voting on the first issue is for either, then the measure receiving a majority of the votes on the second issue shall be law.
Any initiative that repeals, or restricts the collection of, any existing tax or any of the fees used to fund general government purposes, reduces the percentage rate or amount of such a tax or fee, or creates or extends an exemption to such a tax or fee shall include specific language that prescribes how these reductions are to be reflected in the state budgets. This language may be a specific direction to the legislature to reduce the funding for a specific function or agency of government, or this language may be an amendment to the applicable budget that will be in effect when the initiative is certified, if approved by the voters.
(b) Referendum. The second power reserved by the people is the referendum, and it may be ordered on any act, bill, law, or any part thereof passed by the legislature, except such laws as may be necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health or safety, support of the state government and its existing public institutions, either by petition signed by the required percentage of the legal voters, or by the legislature as other bills are enacted: Provided, That the legislature may not order a referendum on any initiative measure enacted by the legislature under the foregoing subsection (a). The number of valid signatures of registered voters required on a petition for referendum of an act of the legislature or any part thereof, shall be equal to or exceeding four percent of the votes cast for the office of governor at the last gubernatorial election preceding the filing of the text of the referendum measure with the secretary of state.
(c) No act, law, or bill subject to referendum shall take effect until ninety days after the adjournment of the session at which it was enacted. No act, law, or bill approved by a majority of the electors voting thereon shall be amended or repealed by the legislature within a period of two years following such enactment: Provided, That any such act, law, or bill may be amended within two years after such enactment at any regular or special session of the legislature by a vote of two‑thirds of all the members elected to each house with full compliance with section 12, Article III, of the Washington Constitution, and no amendatory law adopted in accordance with this provision shall be subject to referendum. But such enactment may be amended or repealed at any general regular or special election by direct vote of the people thereon.
(d) The filing of a referendum petition against one or more items, sections, or parts of any act, law, or bill shall not delay the remainder of the measure from becoming operative. Referendum petitions against measures passed by the legislature shall be filed with the secretary of state not later than ninety days after the final adjournment of the session of the legislature which passed the measure on which the referendum is demanded. The veto power of the governor shall not extend to measures initiated by or referred to the people. All elections on measures referred to the people of the state shall be had at the next succeeding regular general election following the filing of the measure with the secretary of state, except when the legislature shall order a special election. Any measure initiated by the people or referred to the people as herein provided shall take effect and become the law if it is approved by a majority of the votes cast thereon: Provided, That the vote cast upon such question or measure shall equal one‑third of the total votes cast at such election and not otherwise. Such measure shall be in operation on and after the thirtieth day after the election at which it is approved. The style of all bills proposed by initiative petition shall be: "Be it enacted by the people of the State of Washington." This section shall not be construed to deprive any member of the legislature of the right to introduce any measure. All such petitions shall be filed with the secretary of state, who shall be guided by the general laws in submitting the same to the people until additional legislation shall especially provide therefor. This section is self‑executing, but legislation may be enacted especially to facilitate its operation.
(e) The legislature shall provide methods of publicity of all laws or parts of laws, and amendments to the Constitution referred to the people with arguments for and against the laws and amendments so referred. The secretary of state shall send one copy of the publication to each individual place of residence in the state and shall make such additional distribution as he shall determine necessary to reasonably assure that each voter will have an opportunity to study the measures prior to election.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the secretary of state shall cause notice of this constitutional amendment to be published at least four times during the four weeks next preceding the election in every legal newspaper in the state.
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