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Washington Milk Marketing, Referendum 32 (1962)

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A Washington State Milk Marketing Act, Referendum 32 was on the November 6, 1962 ballot in the State of Washington as a veto referendum, where it succeeded in overturning an act of the Washington State Legislature.

A "yes" vote for a veto referendum is a vote in favor of the legislative act that those who collected signatures to force onto the ballot are hoping to overturn. A "no" vote is a vote against the legislative act that provoked the veto referendum.

In this case, Chapter 298, Laws of 1961, pertaining to a State Milk Marketing Act did not become law. The proposal would have given the state's director of agriculture the ability to set a minimum price for milk. It also would have given that state agency what a local newspaper described as "broad authority over production, storage, processing, buying, selling and handling milk."[1] Opponents of the measure described it as "socialistic."[1]

The Milk Marketing Act that was passed by the state legislature, and then rejected by voters, was supported by the Washington State Dairymen's Federation. A spokesman for the group said that it was needed because Washington dairymen were receiving three cents a quart less for their milk in 1962 than they had ten years earlier, even though the retail price of milk had gone up in the same period by five cents a quart.[2]

Election results

Referendum 32
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No677,53081.54%
Yes 153,419 18.46%

Ballot summary


AN ACT, Declared to be for the protection of the health and welfare of the public, and for the purpose of maintaining stability and properity in the milk industry, and authorizing and providing procedures for the Director of Agriculture to: Prescribe marketing areas, formulate stabilization and marketing plans for regulation of milk production and distribution, determine minimum prices to milk producers and establish, with the consent of an advisory board, emergency retail prices whenever unfair trade practices disrupt milk marketing; providing funds for administration and enforcement from assessments paid by producers and/or dealers and dealers' license fees, and providing penalties.

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