Washington Combined City-County Charter, HJR 13 (1948)

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Washington Constitution
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State of Washington Constitutional Amendment 23 was a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment to the Washington State Constitution. It was on the November 2, 1948 ballot in the State of Washington, where it was approved.

Election results

Amendment 23
Approveda Yes 291,699 50.34%

Amendment 23 amended Article XI, Section 16 of the Washington State Constitution. It was the 23rd amendment approved to the Washington State Constitution subsequent to its adoption in 1889.

Amendment 23 was superseded in 1972 by Amendment 58.

Text of Amendment 23

COMBINED CITY AND COUNTY -- The legislature shall, by general law, provide for the formation of combined city and county municipal corporations, and for the manner of determining the territorial limits thereof, each of which shall be known as a "city and county," and, when organized, shall contain a population of at least three hundred thousand (300,000) inhabitants. No such city and county shall be formed except by a majority vote of the qualified electors of the area proposed to be included therein and also by a majority vote of the qualified electors of the remainder of that county from which such area is to be taken. Any such city and county shall be permitted to frame a charter for its own government, and amend the same, in the manner provided for cities by section 10 of this article: Provided, however, That the first charter of such city and county shall be framed and adopted in a manner to be specified in the general law authorizing the formation of such corporations: Provided further, That every such charter shall designate the respective officers of such city and county who shall perform the duties imposed by law upon county officers. Every such city and county shall have and enjoy all rights, powers and privileges asserted in its charter, not inconsistent with general laws, and in addition thereto, such rights, powers and privileges as may be granted to it, or possessed and enjoyed by cities and counties of like population separately organized.
No county or county government existing outside the territorial limits of such county and city shall exercise any police, taxation or other powers within the territorial limits of such county and city, but all such powers shall be exercised by the city and county and the officers thereof, subject to such constitutional provisions and general laws as apply to either cities or counties: Provided, That the provisions of sections 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 of this article shall not apply to any such city and county: Provided further, That the salary of any elective or appointive officer of a city and county shall not be changed after his election or appointment or during his term of office; nor shall the term of any such officer be extended beyond the period for which he is elected or appointed. In case an existing county is divided in the formation of a city and county, such city and county shall be liable for a just proportion of the existing debts or liabilities of the former county, and shall account for and pay the county remaining a just proportion of the value of any real estate or other property owned by the former county and taken over by the county and city, the method of determining such just proportion to be prescribed by general law, but such division shall not affect the rights of creditors. The officers of a city and county, their compensation, qualifications, term of office and manner of election or appointment shall be as provided for in its charter, subject to general laws and applicable constitutional provisions.

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