SUBSTITUTE SENATE BILL 6572





                        57th Legislature

                      2002 Regular Session


Passed by the Senate February 16, 2002

  YEAS 47   NAYS 1




President of the Senate


Passed by the House March 5, 2002

  YEAS 92   NAYS 5



I, Tony M. Cook, Secretary of the Senate of the State of Washington, do hereby certify that the attached is  SUBSTITUTE SENATE BILL 6572 as passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives on the dates hereon set forth.




Speaker of the

      House of Representatives









Approved Place Style On Codes above, and Style Off Codes below.  





Governor of the State of Washington

                   Secretary of State

                  State of Washington



                    SUBSTITUTE SENATE BILL 6572



             Passed Legislature - 2002 Regular Session


State of Washington   57th Legislature        2002 Regular Session


By Senate Committee on Agriculture & International Trade (originally sponsored by Senators Rasmussen, Morton, Carlson and Benton)


READ FIRST TIME 02/08/2002.

Regarding conservation district supervisors. 

    AN ACT Relating to conservation district supervisors; amending RCW 29.13.020 and 89.08.190; adding a new section to chapter 42.17 RCW; creating new sections; providing an expiration date; and declaring an emergency.




    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.  The legislature finds that there are conflicting interpretations as to the intent of the legislature in the enactment of chapter 305, Laws of 1999.  The purpose of this act is to make statutory changes that further clarify this intent.

    It is the intent of the legislature that elections of conservation district supervisors continue to be conducted under procedures in the conservation district statutes, chapter 89.08 RCW, and that such elections not be conducted under the general election laws contained in Title 29 RCW.  Further, it is the intent of the legislature that there be no change made with regard to applicability of the public disclosure act, chapter 42.17 RCW, to conservation district supervisors from those that existed before the enactment of chapter 305, Laws of 1999.


    Sec. 2.  RCW 29.13.020 and 1994 c 142 s 2 are each amended to read as follows:

    (1) All city, town, and district general elections shall be held throughout the state of Washington on the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November in the odd-numbered years.

    This section shall not apply to:

    (a) Elections for the recall of any elective public officer;

    (b) Public utility districts, conservation districts, or district elections at which the ownership of property within those districts is a prerequisite to voting, all of which elections shall be held at the times prescribed in the laws specifically applicable thereto;

    (c) Consolidation proposals as provided for in RCW 28A.315.280 and nonhigh capital fund aid proposals as provided for in chapter 28A.540 RCW.

    (2) The county auditor, as ex officio supervisor of elections, upon request in the form of a resolution of the governing body of a city, town, or district, presented to the auditor at least forty-five days prior to the proposed election date, may, if the county auditor deems an emergency to exist, call a special election in such city, town, or district, and for the purpose of such special election he or she may combine, unite, or divide precincts.  Except as provided in subsection (3) of this section, such a special election shall be held on one of the following dates as decided by the governing body:

    (a) The first Tuesday after the first Monday in February;

    (b) The second Tuesday in March;

    (c) The fourth Tuesday in April;

    (d) The third Tuesday in May;

    (e) The day of the primary election as specified by RCW 29.13.070; or

    (f) The first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.

    (3) In a presidential election year, if a presidential preference primary is conducted in February, March, April, or May under chapter 29.19 RCW, the date on which a special election may be called under subsection (2) of this section during the month of that primary is the date of the presidential primary.

    (4) In addition to subsection (2)(a) through (f) of this section, a special election to validate an excess levy or bond issue may be called at any time to meet the needs resulting from fire, flood, earthquake, or other act of God, except that no special election may be held between the first day for candidates to file for public office and the last day to certify the returns of the general election other than as provided in subsection (2)(e) and (f) of this section.  Such special election shall be conducted and notice thereof given in the manner provided by law.

    (5) This section shall supersede the provisions of any and all other statutes, whether general or special in nature, having different dates for such city, town, and district elections, the purpose of this section being to establish mandatory dates for holding elections.


    Sec. 3.  RCW 89.08.190 and 1973 1st ex.s. c 184 s 20 are each amended to read as follows:

    Within thirty days after the issuance of the certificate of organization, unless the time is extended by the commission, petitions shall be filed with the commission to nominate candidates for the three elected supervisors.  The petition shall be signed by not less than twenty-five district electors, and a district elector may sign petitions nominating more than one person.

    In the case of a new district, the commission shall give due notice to elect the three supervisors.  All provisions pertaining to elections on the creation of a district shall govern this election so far as applicable.  The names of all nominees shall appear on the ballot in alphabetical order, together with instructions to vote for three.  The three candidates receiving the most votes shall be declared elected supervisors, the one receiving the most being elected for a three-year term, the next for two and the last for one year.  An alternate method of dividing the district into three zones may be used when requested by the board of supervisors and approved by the commission.  In such case, instructions will be to vote for one in each zone.  The candidate receiving the most votes in a zone shall be declared elected.

    Each year after the creation of the first board of supervisors, the board shall by resolution and by giving due notice, set a date during the first quarter of each calendar year at which time it shall conduct an election, except that for elections in 2002 only, the board shall set the date during the second quarter of the calendar year at which time it shall conduct an election.  Names of candidates nominated by petition shall appear in alphabetical order on the ballots, together with an extra line wherein may be written in the name of any other candidate.  The commission shall establish procedures for elections, canvass the returns and announce the official results thereof.  Election results may be announced by polling officials at the close of the election subject to official canvass of ballots by the commission.  Supervisors elected shall take office at the first board meeting following the election.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 4.  A new section is added to chapter 42.17 RCW to read as follows:

    Elections of conservation district supervisors held pursuant to chapter 89.08 RCW shall not be considered general or special elections for purposes of the campaign disclosure and personal financial affairs reporting requirements of this chapter.  Elected conservation district supervisors are not considered elected officials for purposes of the annual personal financial affairs reporting requirement of this chapter.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 5.  (1) A work group on conservation district elections is created, comprised of seven members who are appointed as follows:

    (a) The chair who shall be a person with expertise and experience in local elections, to be named by the president of a statewide organization of county auditors; and

    (b) Six members appointed by agreement of the president of the senate and the speaker of the house of representatives with the following qualifications:

    (i) Two persons who are landowners and are currently conservation district supervisors selected from a list nominated by a statewide association representing conservation district supervisors;

    (ii) Two persons who are landowners and are not currently conservation district supervisors, one whom is selected from a list nominated by a statewide dairy organization and the other whom is selected from a list nominated by a statewide agricultural organization;

    (iii) One person who is selected from a list nominated by a statewide environmental organization and is knowledgeable about conservation district operations; and

    (iv) One person representing county governments selected from a list nominated by the Washington association of counties.

    (2) The work group shall conduct a review of conservation district election procedures and prepare recommendations for changes and improvements to the procedures including but not limited to:

    (a) Defining eligibility requirements for holding the office of conservation district supervisor;

    (b) Determining what public agency should be responsible for overseeing and certifying conservation district elections;

    (c) Determining whether or not conservation district supervisors should be required to report under chapter 42.17 RCW;

    (d) Determining the cost of proposed changes and how the costs of conservation district elections should be paid; and

    (e) Determining what actions the conservation commission should take in response to implementing the recommendations of the work group for any elections conducted under chapter 89.08 RCW.

    (3) The work group shall convene as soon as possible upon the appointment of its members.  The work group shall provide progress reports as requested by the house of representatives committee on agriculture and ecology and the senate committee on agriculture and international trade during scheduled legislative committee assemblies or at other meetings of these committees.

    (4) The work group may conduct town hall meetings in different regions of the state before submitting the recommendations to the legislature.  The open public meetings act, chapter 42.30 RCW, applies to meetings conducted under this section.  The work group shall announce the location and time of meetings.

    (5) The work group shall provide a report of its findings and recommendations to the secretary of the senate and the chief clerk of the house of representatives by December 15, 2002.

    (6) No additional funds may be appropriated for the purposes of the work group or the report in this section.

    (7) This section expires April 15, 2003.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 6.  This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect immediately.


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