HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 4203
State of Washington 51st Legislature 1989 Regular Session
By Representatives Cooper, Horn, Haugen, Ferguson, Phillips, Rayburn, Raiter, Wood, Wolfe, Nutley, Doty, Hine and Nelson
Read first time 1/18/89 and referred to Committee on Local 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, an amendment to Article XI, section 3 of the state Constitution to read as follows:
Article XI, section
3. No new
counties shall be established, or annexation shall occur, which ((
at the time of such action reduces any county to a population
less than (( four)) the smaller of (a) twenty-one thousand (( (4,000),
nor shall a)), or (b) seventy-five percent of its former population but
not less than twelve thousand. No new county shall be formed
containing a (( less)) population of less than (( two)) ten
thousand (( (2,000))), except by the consolidation of two or more
counties. (( There shall be no territory stricken from any county unless
a majority of the voters living in such territory shall petition therefor and
then only under such other conditions as may be prescribed by a general law
applicable to the whole state.))
Notwithstanding the provisions of Article 2, section 28 of this Constitution, county boundaries shall be described in special laws enacted by the legislature. All portions of the state shall be in a county.
County boundaries shall be altered as follows:
(1) A new county shall be established when: (a) First, the action is initiated by petition of a majority of the voters residing in the proposed new county, but when the proposed new county would take territory out of more than one county the action must be initiated by petition of twenty-five percent of the voters residing in each portion of the proposed new county that is located within each county; (b) second, the petition forms referred to in (a) are certified by voting precinct; (c) third, the legislature enacts a special law creating the new county; and (d) fourth, a ballot proposition authorizing the creation of the new county is approved by the voters residing in the proposed county. The legislature may establish the boundaries of the new county notwithstanding the boundaries proposed by the petition.
(2) An existing county may annex territory from another county when: (a) First, the action is initiated by either resolution of the legislative authority of the annexing county or petition of twenty-five percent of the voters residing in the area within a county proposed to be annexed; (b) second, the legislative authority of the county from which the area would be removed adopts a resolution authorizing the annexation; (c) third, the legislature enacts a special law providing for the annexation; and (d) fourth, a ballot proposition authorizing the annexation is approved by the voters residing in that area.
(3) Two or more counties may consolidate when: (a) First, the action is initiated in each of the counties proposed to be consolidated by either resolution of the county legislative authority or petition by twenty-five percent of the voters residing in the county; (b) second, the legislature enacts a special law providing for the consolidation; and (c) third, a ballot proposition authorizing the consolidation is approved by the voters of each of the counties.
The legislature may implement this section and may place additional requirements or conditions on the altering of county boundaries by enacting general laws applicable to the entire state.
Notwithstanding the provisions of section 2 of this Article, the legislature shall enact general laws applicable to the entire state to establish procedures whereby, at the time of a vote under subsection (1), (2), or (3) of this section, the voters also select the location of a county seat whenever two or more counties consolidate, or the location of a county seat in that portion of a county remaining after an annexation or creation of a new county, if the old county seat is located in the territory removed from the county.
Every county which shall be enlarged or created from territory taken from any other county or counties shall be liable for a just proportion of the existing debts and liabilities of the county or counties from which such territory shall be taken: PROVIDED, That in such accounting neither county shall be charged with any debt or liability then existing incurred in the purchase of any county property, or in the purchase or construction of any county buildings then in use, or under construction, which shall fall within and be retained by the county: PROVIDED FURTHER, That this shall not be construed to affect the rights of creditors.
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.