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Washington State Constitution

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Washington Constitution
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Articles
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Amendments
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.[1]

Preamble

See also: Preambles to state constitutions

The preamble of the Washington State Constitution is:

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

Article I

Article I, Washington State Constitution

Article I is labeled Declaration of Rights.It includes 35 sections and has been amended seven times since the current version of the Washington State Constitution was ratified on October 1, 1889.

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 right of recall.

Article II

Article II, Washington State Constitution

Article II details the workings of the legislative branch of Washington's state government. The Article includes 44 sections and has been amended 19 times since 1889, most recently in 2003.

Article III

Article III, Washington State Constitution

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:

Article IV

Article IV, Washington State Constitution

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 judges must retire at the age of 75. The most recent amendment was enacted in 2005, permitting district and municipal court judges to serve on the state's Commission on Judicial Conduct.

Article V

Article V describes the impeachment process.

Article V, Washington State Constitution

Article VI

Article VI, Washington State Constitution

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.

Article VI has been amended five times, the first time in 1896 and most recently in 1988.

Article VII

Article VII, Washington State Constitution

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".[2]

Article VII has been amended 16 times, the first time in 1900 and most recently in 2007.

Article VIII

Article VIII, Washington State Constitution

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.

Article IX

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 Common School Construction Fund Amendment was enacted.

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, Washington State Constitution

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."

Article XI

Article XI, Washington State Constitution

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.

Article XII

Article XII, Washington State Constitution

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.

Article XIII

Article XII, Washington State Constitution

Article XIII is labeled State Institutions. The state institutions it addresses are educational, reformatory and penal institutions. It has been amended once, in 1988.

Article XIV

Article XIV sets the location of the seat of government.

Article XIV, Washington State Constitution

Article XV

Article XV concerns the harbors and tide waters of the state.

Article XV, Washington State Constitution

Article XVI

Article XVI summarizes what can be done with school lands and those granted by the state.

Article XVI, Washington State Constitution

Article XVII

Article XVII deals with tide lands.

Article XVII, Washington State Constitution

Article XVIII

Article XVIII establishes and describes the state seal.

Article XVIII, Washington State Constitution

Article XIX

Article XIX is is labeled Exemptions

Article XIX, Washington State Constitution

Article XX

Article XX concerns the public health.

Article XX, Washington State Constitution

Article XXI

Article XXI describes the public use of water.

Article XXI, Washington State Constitution

Article XXII

Article XXII establishes the legislative apportionment of each respective county.

Article XXII, Washington State Constitution

Article XXIII

Article XXIII describes the process for amending the State Constitution.

Article XXIII, Washington State Constitution

Article XXIV

Article XXIV establishes the boundaries of the State of Washington.

Article XXIV, Washington State Constitution

Article XXV

Article XXV is entitled Jurisdiction

Article XXV, Washington State Constitution

Article XXVI

Article XXVI details the compact with the United States that the State of Washington made.

Article XXVI, Washington State Constitution

Article XXVII

Article XXVII assures that no inconveniences shall arise from Washington becoming a state.

Article XXVII, Washington State Constitution

Article XXVIII

Article XXVIII concerns the compensation of State Officers.

Article XXVIII, Washington State Constitution

Article XXIX

Article XXIX details how public pension and retirement funds may be invested.

Article XXIX, Washington State Constitution

Article XXX

Article XXX concerns the compensation of Public Officers.

Article XXX, Washington State Constitution

Article XXXI

Article XXXI declares equality between the sexes.

Article XXXI, Washington State Constitution

Article XXXII

Article XXXII describes special revenue financing.

Article XXXII, Washington State Constitution

Amendments

External links

References