Initiatives to the Legislature (Washington)
in Washington State
|Initiatives to the People|
|Initiatives to the Legislature|
|Statutes referred by Legislature|
|Political topics on the ballot|
|Laws • History • Constitution|
Laws governing the initiative process in Washington allow a second kind of initiated state statute, the Initiatives to the People. Initiatives to the People, if certified to have sufficient signatures, are submitted for a vote of the people at the next state general election.
Initiatives to the Legislature, if certified, are submitted to the Washington State Legislature at its next regular session in January. Once submitted, the Legislature must take one of the following three actions:
- The Legislature can adopt the initiative as proposed, in which case it becomes law without a vote of the people;
- The Legislature can reject or refuse to act on the proposed initiative, in which case the initiative must be placed on the ballot at the next state general election; or
- The Legislature can approve an alternative to the proposed initiative, in which case both the original proposal and the Legislature's alternative must be placed on the ballot at the next state general election.
Through August 2009, 408 Initiatives to the Legislature have been filed in the State of Washington. The first Initiative to the Legislature was filed on December 14, 1914.
Controversy over Initiative 1029
In 2008, SEIU submitted signatures on an initiative petition, Initiative 1029, to Sam Reed, the Washington Secretary of State. At some point, it was discovered that SEIU had mislabeled the petition forms. Intending to circulate the initiative as an Initiative to the People, they had instead printed on the petition that it was an Initiative to the Legislature. Reed indicated that he would accept the petitions as an initiative to the people (rather than the legislature) despite what it said on the petition.
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer editorialized against this, saying:
"Could Secretary of State Sam Reed still change his mind about accepting egregiously mislabeled initiative petitions? We'd like to think the steady, veteran public leader could summon the political fortitude to reverse his decision to ignore a powerful labor union's flagrant carelessness on an issue that's supposedly so important it must be brought to voters in November."
- List of all Initiatives to the Legislature starting in 1914.
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