Difference between revisions of "Washington State Constitution"

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{{cons update|Month=June 2012}}{{WAConstitution}}{{TOCnestright}}The '''Washington State Constitution''' is the [[state constitution]] of the [[State of Washington]].  It is the document that describes the fundamental structure and function of the state's government. Washington has had two constitutions: one in 1878 and the current one, which was ratified by the state's voters on October 1, 1889.<ref>[http://lib.law.washington.edu/ref/waconst.html#amend ''History of the Washington State Constitution'']</ref>
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{{WAConstitution}}{{tnr}}The '''Washington State Constitution''' is the basic governing document of the [[State of Washington]].   
  
==Articles==
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==Features==
===Preamble===
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The Washington State Constitution describes the fundamental structure and function of the state's government. It consists of a preamble and 32 articles.
  
 +
==Preamble==
 
:: ''See also: [[Preambles to state constitutions]]''
 
:: ''See also: [[Preambles to state constitutions]]''
  
The preamble of the Washington State Constitution is:
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The preamble of the Washington State Constitution states:
  
{| style="width:60%; background:#FFFDD0; margin-top:.1em; border:.5px solid #cccccc; solid;"
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{| style="width:40%; background:#F2F2F2; margin-top:.1em; border:.5px solid #cccccc; solid;"
 
|color:#000"|  
 
|color:#000"|  
 
|-
 
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| We, the people of the State of Washington, grateful to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe for our liberties, do ordain this constitution.  
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| <center>''We, the people of the State of Washington, grateful to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe for our liberties, do ordain this constitution.''<ref name="wa">[http://www.leg.wa.gov/LAWSANDAGENCYRULES/Pages/constitution.aspx ''Washington State Legislature'', "Washington Constitution," accessed March 30, 2014]</ref>
 
|}
 
|}
  
===Article I===
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==[[Article I, Washington State Constitution|Article I]]==
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Article 1 of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "Declaration of Rights." It includes 35 sections and lays out a variety of fundamental citizen rights in the state, covering topics such as the rights of petition and assembly, freedom of speech, the rights of the accused and the rights of crime victims, religious freedom, habeas corpus, eminent domain, the right to bear arms and the [[recall|right of recall]].
  
: ''[[Article I, Washington State Constitution]]''
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==[[Article II, Washington State Constitution|Article II]]==
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Article II of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "Legislative Department." Article II details the workings of the [[Washington State Legislature|legislative branch of Washington's state government]] and includes 44 sections.
  
Article I is labeled '''Declaration of Rights.'''It includes 35 sections and has been amended [[:Category:Amendments to Article I of the Washington State Constitution|seven times]] since the current version of the [[Washington State Constitution]] was ratified on October 1, 1889.
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==[[Article III, Washington State Constitution|Article III]]==
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Article III of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "The Executive." It has 25 sections which define the duties, rights and prerogatives of the office of the [[Governor of Washington]] and other statewide constitutional officers.
  
Article I lays out a variety of fundamental citizen rights in the state, covering topics such as the rights of petition and assembly, freedom of speech, the rights of the accused and the rights of crime victims, religious freedom, habeas corpus, eminent domain, the right to bear arms, and the [[recall|right of recall]].
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==[[Article IV, Washington State Constitution|Article IV]]==
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Article IV of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "The Judiciary." It establishes the powers, rights and obligations of the state's courts and judges.  
  
===Article II===
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==[[Article V, Washington State Constitution|Article V]]==
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Article V of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "Impeachment" and describes the impeachment process.
  
: ''[[Article II, Washington State Constitution]]''
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==[[Article VI, Washington State Constitution|Article VI]]==
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Article VI of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "Elections and Elective Rights." It includes sections 1-8 and 1A, for a total of nine sections and describes voter qualifications, who can be disqualified, residency requirements for voting in particular areas, the "privilege from arrest" enjoying under certain voting circumstances, the legislature's obligation to create a voter registration system and when elections are to be held.
  
Article II details the workings of the [[Washington State Legislature|legislative branch of Washington's state government]].  The Article includes 44 sections and has been amended 19 times since 1889, most recently in 2003.
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==[[Article VII, Washington State Constitution|Article VII]]==
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Article VII is entitled "Revenue and Taxation." According to ''The Washington State Constitution: A Reference Guide'', Article VII was passed by the [[constitutional convention]] that led to the 1889 constitution "with little debate." Scholars Robert Utter and Hugh Spitzer go on to describe Article VII as "a mixture of original language mingled with sentences and phrases borrowed from many other states."<ref name=utter>[http://books.google.com/books?id=cBJHpiIxHNUC&pg=PA126&lpg=PA126&dq=Article+VII+of+the+Washington+State+Constitution&source=bl&ots=5l14qomNCs&sig=vQP9hOQb32V96VU_-WscaK9DL0c&hl=en&ei=FM9fSpneBdOJtgfx9-DFDA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3 Utter, Robert F. and Hugh D. Spitzer. (2002). ''The Washington State Constitution: A Reference Guide'', Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press]</ref>
  
===Article III===
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==[[Article VIII, Washington State Constitution|Article VIII]]==
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Article VIII of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "State, County, and Municipal Indebtedness." It includes sections 1-11, for a total of 11 sections.
  
: ''[[Article III, Washington State Constitution]]''
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==[[Article IX, Washington State Constitution|Article  IX]]==
 
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'''Article III''' is labeled '''The Executive.'''  It has 25 sections which define the duties, rights and perogatives of the office of the [[Governor of Washington]], and other statewide constitutional officers.  Article III has been amended three times since the current State of Washington Constitution was adopted in 1889:
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* [[Washington Gubernatorial Succession, Amendment to Article I Sec. 10 (1910)]]
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* [[Washington Successive Terms for State Treasurers, SJR 6 (1956)]]
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* [[Washington Gubernatorial Vetoes, SJR 140 (1974)]]
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===Article IV===
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: ''[[Article IV, Washington State Constitution]]''
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Article IV defines the role and power of Washington's courts and judges.  It is labeled "The Judiciary." Article IV has been amended 14 times.  The first amendment to the Article was enacted in 1952, when it was decided that [[Washington Judge Retirements, HJR 6 (1952)|judges must retire at the age of 75]].  The most recent amendment was enacted in 2005, [[Washington Judges Eligible to Serve on the Commission on Judicial Conduct, SJR 8207 (2005)|permitting district and municipal court judges to serve on the state's Commission on Judicial Conduct]].
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===Article V===
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Article V describes the impeachment process.
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: ''[[Article V, Washington State Constitution]]''
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===Article VI===
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: ''[[Article VI, Washington State Constitution]]''
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'''Article VI''' is labeled '''Elections and Elective Rights.''' It includes sections 1-8 and 1A, for a total of nine sections.  Article VI describes voter qualifications, who can be disqualified, residency requirements for voting in particular areas, the "privilege from arrest" enjoying under certain voting circumstances, the legislature's obligation to create a voter registration system, and when elections are to be held.
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Article VI has been amended five times, the first time in 1896 and most recently in 1988.
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* [[State of Washington Constitutional Amendment 2 (1896)]]
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* [[Washington Women's Right to Vote, Amendment to Article VI Sec. 1 (1910)]]
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* [[Washington Voter Qualifications for Presidential Elections, HJR 4 (1966)]]
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* [[Washington Durational Residency Requirement, SJR 143 (1974)]]
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* [[State of Washington Constitutional Amendment 83 (1988)]]
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===Article VII===
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: ''[[Article VII, Washington State Constitution]]''
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Article VII is labeled "Revenue and Taxation."  According to ''[[The Washington State Constitution: A Reference Guide]]'', Article VII was passed by the [[constitutional convention]] that led to the 1889 constitution "with little debate." Scholars Robert Utter and Hugh Spitzer go on to describe Article VII as "a mixture of original language mingled with sentences and phrases borrowed from many other states".<ref name=utter>[http://books.google.com/books?id=cBJHpiIxHNUC&pg=PA126&lpg=PA126&dq=Article+VII+of+the+Washington+State+Constitution&source=bl&ots=5l14qomNCs&sig=vQP9hOQb32V96VU_-WscaK9DL0c&hl=en&ei=FM9fSpneBdOJtgfx9-DFDA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3 ''The Washington State Constitution: A Reference Guide'', by Robert F. Utter and Hugh D. Spitzer, 2002, Greenwood Press]</ref>
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Article VII has been amended 16 times, the first time in 1900 and most recently in 2007.
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===Article VIII===
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: ''[[Article VIII, Washington State Constitution]]''
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Article VIII is labeled '''State, County and Municipal Indebtedness.''' It includes sections 1-11. Article VIII has been amended 12 times, the first time in 1922 and most recently in 1999.
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===Article  IX===
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[[File:AR-Const-1878-p001.jpg|thumb|Washington Territory voters approved a [http://blogs.sos.wa.gov/FromOurCorner/index.php/2012/05/may-archives-treasure-1-washington-constitution-1878/ constitution] on Nov. 5, 1878. State officially joined the Union on Nov. 11, 1889.<br>Photo credit: [[Washington Secretary of State]]'s office]]
 
[[File:AR-Const-1878-p001.jpg|thumb|Washington Territory voters approved a [http://blogs.sos.wa.gov/FromOurCorner/index.php/2012/05/may-archives-treasure-1-washington-constitution-1878/ constitution] on Nov. 5, 1878. State officially joined the Union on Nov. 11, 1889.<br>Photo credit: [[Washington Secretary of State]]'s office]]
: ''[[Article IX, Washington State Constitution]]''
 
  
Article IX lays out the education system for the [[State of Washington]]. It has five sections, and has been amended once, in 1966, when the [[Washington Common School Construction Fund, SJR 22, Part 1 (1966)|Common School Construction Fund Amendment]] was enacted.
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Article IX of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "Education." It includes sections 1-5 for a total of five sections. According to Utter and Spitzer (2002), the "paramount duty" language in [[Article IX, Washington State Constitution#Section 1|Section 1]] is some of the strongest language in any [[state constitution]] governing the duty of a state to guarantee the education "of all children residing within its borders."<ref name=utter/>
  
According to Utter and Spitzer (2002), the "paramount duty" language in [[Article IX, Washington State Constitution#Section 1|Section 1]] is some of the strongest language in any [[state constitution]] governing the duty of a state to guarantee the education "of all children residing within its borders."<ref name=utter/>
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==[[Article X, Washington State Constitution|Article  X]]==
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Article X of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "Militia." It includes sections 1-6 for a total of six sections. It defines "all able-bodied male citizens of this state between the ages of eighteen (18) and forty-five (45) years except such as are exempt by laws of the United States or by the laws of this state" as being "liable to military duty." It does allow room for conscientious objection, but only during times of peace and after making a payment for their exemption:  "No person or persons, having conscientious scruples against bearing arms, shall be compelled to do militia duty in time of peace: Provided, such person or persons shall pay an equivalent for such exemption."<ref name="wa"/>
  
===Article  X===
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==[[Article XI, Washington State Constitution|Article  XI]]==
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Article XI of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "County, City, And Township Organization." It includes sections 1-16 for a total of 16 sections.
  
: ''[[Article X, Washington State Constitution]]''
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==[[Article XII, Washington State Constitution|Article  XII]]==
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Article XII of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "Corporations other than Municipal." It includes sections 1-22, for a total of 22 sections.
  
Article X concerns the state's militia. It defines "all able-bodied male citizens of this state between the ages of eighteen (18) and forty-five (45) years except such as are exempt by laws of the United States or by the laws of this state" as being "liable to military duty."  It does allow room for conscientious objection, but only during times of peace and after making a payment for their exemption:  "No person or persons, having conscientious scruples against bearing arms, shall be compelled to do militia duty in time of peace: Provided, such person or persons shall pay an equivalent for such exemption."
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==[[Article XII, Washington State Constitution|Article  XIII]]==
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Article XIII is labeled "State Institutions." The state institutions it addresses are educational, reformatory and penal institutions.  
  
===Article  XI===
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==[[Article XIV, Washington State Constitution|Article  XIV]]==
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Article XIV of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "Seat of Government." It includes sections 1-3, for a total of three sections. It established that the location of the seat of government cannot be determined by the [[Washington State Legislature]] but instead, must be determined by a statewide vote of the people.  Once the initial decision about where to locate the seat of government was made, this Article says that it can only be changed in the future by a 2/3rds [[supermajority vote]], except in the case of an emergency as defined in [[Article II, Washington State Constitution#Section 42|Section 42 of Article II]].<ref name="wa"/>
  
: ''[[Article XI, Washington State Constitution]]''
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==[[Article XV, Washington State Constitution|Article XV]]==
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Article XV of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "Harbors and Tide Waters." It includes sections 1-3, for a total of three sections.
  
Article XI describes the organization of the subsections of the state.  It is labeled '''County, City, And Township Organization'''.   It includes sections 1-16 for a total of 16 sections.  Article XI has been amended 8 times, the first time in 1923 and most recently in 1972.
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==[[Article XVI, Washington State Constitution|Article  XVI]]==
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Article XVI of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "School and Granted Lands." It includes sections 1-6, for a total of six sections.  
  
===Article  XII===
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==[[Article XVII, Washington State Constitution|Article  XVII]]==
 
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Article XVII of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "Tide Lands." It includes sections 1 and 2, for a total of two sections. In this article, the State of Washington "asserts its ownership to the beds and shores of all navigable waters in the state up to and including the line of ordinary high tide, in waters where the tide ebbs and flows, and up to and including the line of ordinary high water within the banks of all navigable rivers and lakes."<ref name="wa"/>
: ''[[Article XII, Washington State Constitution]]''
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Article XII describes the powers and limitations of private corporations and is labelled '''Corporations other than Municipal.'''  It includes sections 1-22, for a total of 22 sections. Article XII has been amended three times, the first time in 1940 and most recently in 1977.
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* [[Washington Stockholder Liability, SJR 8 (1940)|Stockholder Liability, Amendment 16 (1940)]]
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* [[Washington Transportation Rates Set By Legislature, HJR 55 (1977)|Transportation Rates Set By Legislature, Amendment 66 (1977)]]
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* [[Washington Shared Earnings for Common Carriers, Amendment 67 (1977)|Shared Earnings for Common Carriers, Amendment 67 (1977)]]
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===Article  XIII===
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: ''[[Article XII, Washington State Constitution]]''
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Article XIII is labeled '''State Institutions.'''  The state institutions it addresses are educational, reformatory and penal institutions. It has been amended once, in 1988. 
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* [[Washington Deleting References to "Idiots", HJR 4231 (1988)]]
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===Article  XIV===
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: ''[[Article XIV, Washington State Constitution]]''
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Article XIV is labeled '''Seat of Government.'''  It established that the location of the seat of government cannot be determined by the [[Washington State Legislature]] but instead, must be determined by a statewide vote of the people.  Once the initial decision about where to locate the seat of government was made, this Article says that it can only be changed in the future by a 2/3rds [[supermajority vote]], except in the case of an emergency as defined in [[Article II, Washington State Constitution#Section 42|Section 42 of Article II]].
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===Article XV===
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: ''[[Article XV, Washington State Constitution]]''
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Article XV is labeled '''Harbors and Tide Waters.''' It has been amended once, in 1932.
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===Article  XVI===
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: ''[[Article XVI, Washington State Constitution]]''
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Article XVI summarizes what can be done with school lands and those granted by the state.  It is labeled '''School and Granted Lands.'''  The first amendment ever made to the Washington State Constitution was made to this Article, in 1894.
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===Article  XVII===
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: ''[[Article XVII, Washington State Constitution]]''
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Article XVII deals with tide lands.  In it, the State of Washington "asserts its ownership to the beds and shores of all navigable waters in the state up to and including the line of ordinary high tide, in waters where the tide ebbs and flows, and up to and including the line of ordinary high water within the banks of all navigable rivers and lakes."
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[[Image:Washington-seal.jpg|180px|thumb|Official Seal of the [[Washington|State of Washington]]]]
 
[[Image:Washington-seal.jpg|180px|thumb|Official Seal of the [[Washington|State of Washington]]]]
  
===Article  XVIII===
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==[[Article XVIII, Washington State Constitution|Article  XVIII]]==
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Article XVIII of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "State Seal." It only has one section.
  
: ''[[Article XVIII, Washington State Constitution]]''
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==[[Article XIX, Washington State Constitution|Article  XIX]]==
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Article XIX of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "Exemptions." It has only one section and that short section states, "The legislature shall protect by law from forced sale a certain portion of the homestead and other property of all heads of families."<ref name="wa"/>
  
Article XVIII establishes and describes the Official Seal of the State of Washington.
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==[[Article XX, Washington State Constitution|Article  XX]]==
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Article XX of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "Public Health and Vital Statistics." It has two sections.  
  
===Article  XIX===
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==[[Article XXI, Washington State Constitution|Article  XXI]]==
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Article XXI of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "Water and Water Rights." It has only one section.
  
: ''[[Article XIX, Washington State Constitution]]''
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==[[Article XXII, Washington State Constitution|Article XXII]]==
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Article XXII of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "Legislative Apportionment." It has two sections.
  
Article XIX is is labeled '''Exemptions.'''  It has only one short section, and that short section says, "The legislature shall protect by law from forced sale a certain portion of the homestead and other property of all heads of families."
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==[[Article XXIII, Washington State Constitution|Article XXIII]]==
 +
Article XXIII of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "Amendments." It includes sections 1-3, for a total of three sections. Its three sections describe the process of amending the state constitution through {{lrcafull}}s and the process of bringing together a state [[constitutional convention]].
  
===Article  XX===
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==[[Article XXIV, Washington State Constitution|Article XXIV]]==
 
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Article XXIV of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "Boundaries." It has only one section.  
: ''[[Article XX, Washington State Constitution]]''
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Article XX concerns the public health.  It includes only two short sections, and they say:
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* Section 1: "There shall be established by law a state board of health and a bureau of vital statistics in connection therewith, with such powers as the legislature may direct."
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* Section 2: "The legislature shall enact laws to regulate the practice of medicine and surgery, and the sale of drugs and medicines."
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===Article  XXI===
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: ''[[Article XXI, Washington State Constitution]]''
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Article XXI is labeled '''Water and Water Rights.'''  It consists of one section, and that one section is just one sentence:
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* "The use of the waters of this state for irrigation, mining and manufacturing purposes shall be deemed a public use."
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===Article XXII===
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: ''[[Article XXII, Washington State Constitution]]''
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Article XXII is labeled '''Legislative Apportionment.'''  It has two sections and has never been amended.
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===Article XXIII===
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: ''[[Article XXIII, Washington State Constitution]]''
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Article XXIII describes the process for [[amending state constitutions|amending the Washington State Constitution]].  Its three sections describe the process of amending the state constitution through {{lrcafull}}s and the process of bringing together a state [[constitutional convention]].
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Article XXIII has been amended one time, in 1962.
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* [[Washington Notice of Amendments on Ballot, SJR 25 (1962)]]
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===Article XXIV===
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[[File:Map of State of Washington.png|thumb|Boundaries of the State of Washington, established by [[Article XXIV, Washington State Constitution|Article XXIV]]]]
 
[[File:Map of State of Washington.png|thumb|Boundaries of the State of Washington, established by [[Article XXIV, Washington State Constitution|Article XXIV]]]]
: ''[[Article XXIV, Washington State Constitution]]''
 
  
Article XXIV establishes the boundaries of the State of Washington. It has only section and has been amended once.
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==[[Article XXV, Washington State Constitution|Article XXV]]==
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Article XXV of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "Jurisdiction." It only has one section and that section describes how the federal government can have political jurisdiction over tracts of land that lay within the territorial boundaries of the State of Washington.
  
* [[Washington State Boundaries, SJR 10 (1958)]]
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==[[Article XXVI, Washington State Constitution|Article XXVI]]==
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Article XXVI of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "Compact with the United States." It is not subdivided into sections as most articles are. It details the compact made between the [[State of Washington]] and the U.S. Government. It begins with the observation, "The following ordinance shall be irrevocable without the consent of the United States and the people of this state."<ref name="wa"/>
  
===Article XXV===
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==[[Article XXVII, Washington State Constitution|Article XXVII]]==
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Article XXVII of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "Schedule." It includes sections 1-19 for a total of 19 sections, each of which lays out various details of the transaction as the [[State of Washington]] transformed from a territory under the control of the U.S. federal government, to being its own state.
  
: ''[[Article XXV, Washington State Constitution]]''
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==[[Article XXVIII, Washington State Constitution|Article XXVIII]]==
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Article XXVIII of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "Compensation of State Officers." It has only one section.
  
Article XXV is is labeled '''Jurisdiction.'''  It only has one section, and that section describes how the federal government can have political jurisdiction over tracts of land that lay within the territorial boundaries of the State of Washington.
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==[[Article XXIX, Washington State Constitution|Article XXIX]]==
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Article XXIX of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "Investments of Public Pension and Retirement Funds." It has only one section and details how public pension and retirement funds may be invested.
  
===Article XXVI===
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==[[Article XXX, Washington State Constitution|Article XXX]]==
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Article XXX of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "Compensation of Public Officers." It has only one section.
  
: ''[[Article XXVI, Washington State Constitution]]''
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==[[Article XXXI, Washington State Constitution|Article XXXI]]==
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Article XXXI of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "Sex Equality - Rights and Responsibilities." It includes sections 1 and 2, for a total of two sections.
  
Article XXVI details the compact made between the [[State of Washington]] and the U.S. Government.  It is not subdivided into sections as most articles are. It begins with the observation, "The following ordinance shall be irrevocable without the consent of the United States and the people of this state."
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==[[Article XXXII, Washington State Constitution|Article XXXII]]==
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Article XXXII of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "Special Revenue Financing." It only has one section.  
  
The first part of the compact relates to the freedom of religion, with the strong statement, "That perfect toleration of religious sentiment shall be secured and that no inhabitant of this state shall ever be molested in person or property on account of his or her mode of religious worship."  No other fundamental rights are discussed in Article XXVI.
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==Amending the constitution==
 +
:: ''See also: [[Article XXIII, Washington State Constitution]], [[Laws governing ballot measures in Washington]] and [[List of amendments to the Washington State Constitution]]''
  
The second part of the compact relates to the ownership of Indian, or tribal, lands that lie with the territorial boundaries of the state, and clarifies that these lands to not belong to the State of Washington.
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The [[Washington State Constitution]] can be amended through two routes:
  
The third part briefly says, "The debts and liabilities of the Territory of Washington and payment of the same are hereby assumed by this state", while the fourth and last part addresses itself to keeping public schools free from religious dominance by saying, "Provision shall be made for the establishment and maintenance of systems of public schools free from sectarian control which shall be open to all the children of said state."
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'''1.'''  A [[constitutional convention]].  A convention can be called if:
 +
* Two-thirds of the members elected to each branch of the legislature put a question before the state's voters asking if the state's voters wish for a convention.
 +
* If a simple majority of voter's say "yes," then the state legislature must call a convention.
  
===Article XXVII===
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'''2.'''  Either chamber of the [[Washington State Legislature]] can initiate an amendment to the state's constitution.  Each house (the [[Washington State Senate]] and the [[Washington House of Representatives]]) must approve the proposal, or a version of it, by a 2/3 vote.  If this happens, the proposed {{lrcafull}} goes on a statewide ballot at the next general election in the state.  If it is approved by a simple majority, it becomes part of the constitution.<ref name="wa hist">[http://lib.law.washington.edu/ref/waconst.html#amend ''History of the Washington State Constitution'']</ref>
  
: ''[[Article XXVII, Washington State Constitution]]''
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==History==
 +
This constitution is the second in Washington's history. The first one was ratified in 1878, and the current version on October 1, 1889.<ref name="wa hist"/>
  
Article XXVII assures that no inconveniences shall arise from Washington becoming a state. It is labeled '''Schedule'''  and has 19 sections, each of which lays out various details of the transaction as the [[State of Washington]] transformed from a territory under the control of the U.S. federal government, to being its own state.
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The territory of Washington voted to apply for statehood in 1876. They sent Orange Jacobs, the territory's delegate, to Congress to enable an act that would allow statehood after a constitution was ratified. The first constitutional convention met in Walla Walla, Washington to draft the constitution in 1878. When it was presented to voters in November, it was overwhelmingly approved.
  
===Article XXVIII===
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This did not allow Washington statehood as Congress failed to act on the proposed constitution. The 1876 constitution was then used during the drafting of Washington State’s 1889 Constitution. A second constitutional convention met in [[Olympia, Washington]] from July 4 to August 22, 1889. This time, 75 delegates helped draft the constitution which was ratified on October 1, 1889. President Harrison issued a proclamation admitting Washington to the Union on November 11, 1889.<ref name="wa hist"/>
  
: ''[[Article XXVIII, Washington State Constitution]]''
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==See also==
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[[File:StateConstitutions Ballotpedia.jpg|right|175px]]
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* [[State constitution]]
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* [[Constitutional article]]
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* [[Constitutional amendment]]
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* [[Constitutional revision]]
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* [[Constitutional convention]]
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* [[Amendment|Amendments]]
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** [[Initiated constitutional amendment]]
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** [[Legislatively-referred constitutional amendment]]
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** [[Publication requirements for proposed state constitutional amendments]]
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** [[Rules about constitutional conventions in state constitutions]]
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** [[State constitutional articles governing state legislatures]]
  
Article XXVIII is labeled '''Compensation of State Officers.''' It has one section, and that section has been amended twice:
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==External links==
 +
{{submit a link}}
 +
* [http://www.leg.wa.gov/LAWSANDAGENCYRULES/Pages/constitution.aspx ''Washington State Legislature'', "Washington Constitution"]
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* [http://www.secstate.wa.gov/history/publications_view_pdf.aspx?i=SL_knapporigin/SL_knapporigin.pdf ''Washington State SOS'', "The Origin of the Constitution of the State of Washington"]
  
* [[Washington Compensation of Elected Officials, SJR 4 (1948)]]
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==Additional reading==
* [[Washington Legislative and Judicial Salaries, HJR 49 (1986)]]
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* [http://www.amazon.com/The-Washington-State-Constitution-Constitutions/dp/0313274649 Utter, Robert F., and Hugh D. Spitzer. (2002). ''The Washington State Constitution: A Reference Guide'', Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing]
 
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* [http://www.amazon.com/Washington-Constitution-Oxford-Commentaries-Constitutions/dp/0199946167 Utter, Robert F., and Hugh D. Spitzer. (2013). ''The Washington State Constitution'', New York, New York: Oxford University Press]
===Article XXIX===
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: ''[[Article XXIX, Washington State Constitution]]''
+
 
+
Article XXIX details how public pension and retirement funds may be invested.  It is labeled '''Investments of Public Pension and Retirement Funds.''', and has been amended three times, most recently in 2000:
+
 
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* [[Washington Investment of Retirement Funds, SJR 5 (1968)]]
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* [[Washington Investment of Workers Compensation Funds, HJR 12 (1985)]]
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* [[Washington Investment of Developmental Disability Trust Funds, SJR 8214 (2000)]]
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+
===Article XXX===
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: ''[[Article XXX, Washington State Constitution]]''
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Article XXX is labeled '''Compensation of Public Officers.'''  It has only one section.
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Article VI has been amended one time, in 1968.
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* [[Washington Compensation of Elected Officials, Amendment 54 (1968)]]
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===Article XXXI===
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: ''[[Article XXXI, Washington State Constitution]]''
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Article XXXI is labeled '''Sex Equality - Rights and Responsibilities.'''  It includes sections 1 and 2, for a total of two sections.
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Article XXXI has been amended one time, in 1972.
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* [[Washington Gender Equality, HJR 61 (1972)]]
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===Article XXXII===
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: ''[[Article XXXII, Washington State Constitution]]''
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Article XXXII is labeled '''Special Revenue Financing.'''  It only has one section.
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Article XXXII was added to the state's constitution in 1981, with the enactment of [[Washington Industrial Development Bonds, HJR 7 (1981)|House Joint Resolution 7]].
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==Amendments==
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* [[List of amendments to the Washington State Constitution]]
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* [[Unsuccessful proposed amendments to the Washington State Constitution]]
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==External links==
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{{wikipedia}}
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* [http://www.secstate.wa.gov/History/constitution.aspx 1878 Constitution] (From Washington Secretary of State)
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* [http://www1.leg.wa.gov/LawsAndAgencyRules/constitution.htm Washington Constitution]. Full text of the Washington Constitution provided by the Washington State Legislature
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* [http://www.secstate.wa.gov/history/publications_view_pdf.aspx?i=SL_knapporigin/SL_knapporigin.pdf The Origin of the Constitution of the State of Washington]
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==References==
 
==References==
{{reflist|2}}
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{{reflist}}
 
{{Washington State Constitution}}
 
{{Washington State Constitution}}
 
{{State constitutions}}
 
{{State constitutions}}
 
{{Washington}}
 
{{Washington}}

Latest revision as of 16:37, 15 August 2014

Washington Constitution
StateConstitutions Ballotpedia.jpg
Articles
IIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIXXXIXIIXIIIXIVXVXVIXVIIXVIIIXIXXXXXIXXIIXXIIIXXIVXXVXXVIXXVIIXXVIIIXXIXXXXXXXIXXXII
Amendments
The Washington State Constitution is the basic governing document of the State of Washington.

Features

The Washington State Constitution describes the fundamental structure and function of the state's government. It consists of a preamble and 32 articles.

Preamble

See also: Preambles to state constitutions

The preamble of the Washington State Constitution states:

We, the people of the State of Washington, grateful to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe for our liberties, do ordain this constitution.[1]

Article I

Article 1 of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "Declaration of Rights." It includes 35 sections and lays out a variety of fundamental citizen rights in the state, covering topics such as the rights of petition and assembly, freedom of speech, the rights of the accused and the rights of crime victims, religious freedom, habeas corpus, eminent domain, the right to bear arms and the right of recall.

Article II

Article II of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "Legislative Department." Article II details the workings of the legislative branch of Washington's state government and includes 44 sections.

Article III

Article III of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "The Executive." It has 25 sections which define the duties, rights and prerogatives of the office of the Governor of Washington and other statewide constitutional officers.

Article IV

Article IV of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "The Judiciary." It establishes the powers, rights and obligations of the state's courts and judges.

Article V

Article V of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "Impeachment" and describes the impeachment process.

Article VI

Article VI of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "Elections and Elective Rights." It includes sections 1-8 and 1A, for a total of nine sections and describes voter qualifications, who can be disqualified, residency requirements for voting in particular areas, the "privilege from arrest" enjoying under certain voting circumstances, the legislature's obligation to create a voter registration system and when elections are to be held.

Article VII

Article VII is entitled "Revenue and Taxation." According to The Washington State Constitution: A Reference Guide, Article VII was passed by the constitutional convention that led to the 1889 constitution "with little debate." Scholars Robert Utter and Hugh Spitzer go on to describe Article VII as "a mixture of original language mingled with sentences and phrases borrowed from many other states."[2]

Article VIII

Article VIII of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "State, County, and Municipal Indebtedness." It includes sections 1-11, for a total of 11 sections.

Article IX

Washington Territory voters approved a constitution on Nov. 5, 1878. State officially joined the Union on Nov. 11, 1889.
Photo credit: Washington Secretary of State's office

Article IX of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "Education." It includes sections 1-5 for a total of five sections. According to Utter and Spitzer (2002), the "paramount duty" language in Section 1 is some of the strongest language in any state constitution governing the duty of a state to guarantee the education "of all children residing within its borders."[2]

Article X

Article X of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "Militia." It includes sections 1-6 for a total of six sections. It defines "all able-bodied male citizens of this state between the ages of eighteen (18) and forty-five (45) years except such as are exempt by laws of the United States or by the laws of this state" as being "liable to military duty." It does allow room for conscientious objection, but only during times of peace and after making a payment for their exemption: "No person or persons, having conscientious scruples against bearing arms, shall be compelled to do militia duty in time of peace: Provided, such person or persons shall pay an equivalent for such exemption."[1]

Article XI

Article XI of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "County, City, And Township Organization." It includes sections 1-16 for a total of 16 sections.

Article XII

Article XII of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "Corporations other than Municipal." It includes sections 1-22, for a total of 22 sections.

Article XIII

Article XIII is labeled "State Institutions." The state institutions it addresses are educational, reformatory and penal institutions.

Article XIV

Article XIV of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "Seat of Government." It includes sections 1-3, for a total of three sections. It established that the location of the seat of government cannot be determined by the Washington State Legislature but instead, must be determined by a statewide vote of the people. Once the initial decision about where to locate the seat of government was made, this Article says that it can only be changed in the future by a 2/3rds supermajority vote, except in the case of an emergency as defined in Section 42 of Article II.[1]

Article XV

Article XV of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "Harbors and Tide Waters." It includes sections 1-3, for a total of three sections.

Article XVI

Article XVI of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "School and Granted Lands." It includes sections 1-6, for a total of six sections.

Article XVII

Article XVII of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "Tide Lands." It includes sections 1 and 2, for a total of two sections. In this article, the State of Washington "asserts its ownership to the beds and shores of all navigable waters in the state up to and including the line of ordinary high tide, in waters where the tide ebbs and flows, and up to and including the line of ordinary high water within the banks of all navigable rivers and lakes."[1]

Official Seal of the State of Washington

Article XVIII

Article XVIII of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "State Seal." It only has one section.

Article XIX

Article XIX of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "Exemptions." It has only one section and that short section states, "The legislature shall protect by law from forced sale a certain portion of the homestead and other property of all heads of families."[1]

Article XX

Article XX of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "Public Health and Vital Statistics." It has two sections.

Article XXI

Article XXI of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "Water and Water Rights." It has only one section.

Article XXII

Article XXII of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "Legislative Apportionment." It has two sections.

Article XXIII

Article XXIII of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "Amendments." It includes sections 1-3, for a total of three sections. Its three sections describe the process of amending the state constitution through legislatively-referred constitutional amendments and the process of bringing together a state constitutional convention.

Article XXIV

Article XXIV of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "Boundaries." It has only one section.

Boundaries of the State of Washington, established by Article XXIV

Article XXV

Article XXV of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "Jurisdiction." It only has one section and that section describes how the federal government can have political jurisdiction over tracts of land that lay within the territorial boundaries of the State of Washington.

Article XXVI

Article XXVI of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "Compact with the United States." It is not subdivided into sections as most articles are. It details the compact made between the State of Washington and the U.S. Government. It begins with the observation, "The following ordinance shall be irrevocable without the consent of the United States and the people of this state."[1]

Article XXVII

Article XXVII of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "Schedule." It includes sections 1-19 for a total of 19 sections, each of which lays out various details of the transaction as the State of Washington transformed from a territory under the control of the U.S. federal government, to being its own state.

Article XXVIII

Article XXVIII of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "Compensation of State Officers." It has only one section.

Article XXIX

Article XXIX of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "Investments of Public Pension and Retirement Funds." It has only one section and details how public pension and retirement funds may be invested.

Article XXX

Article XXX of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "Compensation of Public Officers." It has only one section.

Article XXXI

Article XXXI of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "Sex Equality - Rights and Responsibilities." It includes sections 1 and 2, for a total of two sections.

Article XXXII

Article XXXII of the Washington State Constitution is labeled "Special Revenue Financing." It only has one section.

Amending the constitution

See also: Article XXIII, Washington State Constitution, Laws governing ballot measures in Washington and List of amendments to the Washington State Constitution

The Washington State Constitution can be amended through two routes:

1. A constitutional convention. A convention can be called if:

  • Two-thirds of the members elected to each branch of the legislature put a question before the state's voters asking if the state's voters wish for a convention.
  • If a simple majority of voter's say "yes," then the state legislature must call a convention.

2. Either chamber of the Washington State Legislature can initiate an amendment to the state's constitution. Each house (the Washington State Senate and the Washington House of Representatives) must approve the proposal, or a version of it, by a 2/3 vote. If this happens, the proposed legislatively-referred constitutional amendment goes on a statewide ballot at the next general election in the state. If it is approved by a simple majority, it becomes part of the constitution.[3]

History

This constitution is the second in Washington's history. The first one was ratified in 1878, and the current version on October 1, 1889.[3]

The territory of Washington voted to apply for statehood in 1876. They sent Orange Jacobs, the territory's delegate, to Congress to enable an act that would allow statehood after a constitution was ratified. The first constitutional convention met in Walla Walla, Washington to draft the constitution in 1878. When it was presented to voters in November, it was overwhelmingly approved.

This did not allow Washington statehood as Congress failed to act on the proposed constitution. The 1876 constitution was then used during the drafting of Washington State’s 1889 Constitution. A second constitutional convention met in Olympia, Washington from July 4 to August 22, 1889. This time, 75 delegates helped draft the constitution which was ratified on October 1, 1889. President Harrison issued a proclamation admitting Washington to the Union on November 11, 1889.[3]

See also

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External links

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Suggest a link

Additional reading

References