Washington, USA, regional Popular or citizens initiative and authorities counter-proposal [PCI+] - Initiative to the legislature

General Typology

Instrument
Popular or citizens initiative and authorities counter-proposal [PCI+]
Location
Washington, USA
Political level
regional
Local Name:
Initiative to the legislature
Normative Level:
constitutional
Legally Binding:
no
Legally Defined:

SECTION 1 LEGISLATIVE POWERS, WHERE VESTED.
The legislative authority of the state of Washington shall be vested in the legislature, consisting of a senate and house of representatives, which shall be called the legislature of the state of Washington, but the people reserve to themselves the power to propose bills, laws, and to enact or reject the same at the polls, independent of the legislature, and also reserve power, at their own option, to approve or reject at the polls any act, item, section, or part of any bill, act, or law passed by the legislature.
(a) Initiative: The first power reserved by the people is the initiative. Every such petition shall include the full text of the measure so proposed. In the case of initiatives to the legislature (..) the number of valid signatures of legal voters required shall be equal to eight percent of the votes cast for the office of governor at the last gubernatorial election preceding the initial filing of the text of the initiative measure with the secretary of state. Initiative petitions shall be filed with the secretary of state (..) not less than ten days before any regular session of the legislature. (..)
If such petitions are filed not less than ten days before any regular session of the legislature, he shall certify the results within forty days of the filing. If certification is not complete by the date that the legislature convenes, he shall provisionally certify the measure pending final certification of the measure. Such initiative measures, whether certified or provisionally certified, shall take precedence over all other measures in the legislature except appropriation bills and shall be either enacted or rejected without change or amendment by the legislature before the end of such regular session.
If any such initiative measures shall be enacted by the legislature it shall be subject to the referendum petition, or it may be enacted and referred by the legislature to the people for approval or rejection at the next regular election.
If it is rejected or if no action is taken upon it by the legislature before the end of such regular session, the secretary of state shall submit it to the people for approval or rejection at the next ensuing regular general election.
(..)
Any measure initiated by the people or referred to the people as herein provided shall take effect and become the law if it is approved by a majority of the votes cast thereon: Provided, That the vote cast upon such question or measure shall equal one-third of the total votes cast at such election and not otherwise. Such measure shall be in operation on and after the thirtieth day after the election at which it is approved. The style of all bills proposed by initiative petition shall be: "Be it enacted by the people of the State of Washington." This section shall not be construed to deprive any member of the legislature of the right to introduce any measure. All such petitions shall be filed with the secretary of state, who shall be guided by the general laws in submitting the same to the people until additional legislation shall especially provide therefor. This section is self-executing, but legislation may be enacted especially to facilitate its operation.
(e) The legislature shall provide methods of publicity of all laws or parts of laws, and amendments to the Constitution referred to the people with arguments for and against the laws and amendments so referred. The secretary of state shall send one copy of the publication to each individual place of residence in the state and shall make such additional distribution as he shall determine necessary to reasonably assure that each voter will have an opportunity to study the measures prior to election.

References: Constitution of Washington, 1889 (accessed Sept.22, 2017)

RCW 29A.72.010 Filing proposed measures with secretary of state.
If any legal voter of the state, either individually or on behalf of an organization, desires to petition the legislature to enact a proposed measure, or submit a proposed initiative measure to the people, or order that a referendum of all or part of any act, bill, or law, passed by the legislature be submitted to the people, he or she shall file with the secretary of state a legible copy of the measure proposed, or the act or part of such act on which a referendum is desired, accompanied by an affidavit that the sponsor is a legal voter and a filing fee prescribed under RCW 43.07.120. [2003 c 111 1802; 1982 c 116 1; 1965 c 9 29.79.010. Prior: 1913 c 138 1, part; RRS 5397, part. Formerly RCW 29.79.010.]

RCW 29A.72.020 Review of proposed initiatives--Certificate required.
Upon receipt of a proposed initiative measure, and before giving it a serial number, the secretary of state shall submit a copy thereof to the office of the code reviser and give notice to the sponsor of such transmittal. Upon receipt of the measure, the assistant code reviser to whom it has been assigned may confer with the sponsor and shall within seven working days from its receipt, review the proposal and recommend to the sponsor such revision or alteration of the measure as may be deemed necessary and appropriate. The recommendations of the code reviser's office are advisory only, and the sponsor may accept or reject them in whole or in part. The code reviser shall issue a certificate of review certifying that he or she has reviewed the measure and that any recommendations have been communicated to the sponsor. The certificate must be issued whether or not the sponsor accepts such recommendations. Within fifteen working days after notification of submittal of the proposed measure to the code reviser's office, the sponsor, if he or she desires to proceed with sponsorship, shall file the measure together with the certificate of review with the secretary of state for assignment of a serial number, and the secretary of state shall then submit to the code reviser's office a certified copy of the measure filed. Upon submission of the proposal to the secretary of state for assignment of a serial number, the secretary of state shall refuse to make such assignment unless the proposal is accompanied by a certificate of review. [2003 c 111 1803; 1982 c 116 2; 1973 c 122 2. Formerly RCW 29.79.015.]

RCW 29A.72.025 Fiscal impact statements.
The office of financial management, in consultation with the secretary of state, the attorney general, and any other appropriate state or local agency, shall prepare a fiscal impact statement for each of the following state ballot measures: (1) An initiative to the people that is certified to the ballot; (2) an initiative to the legislature that will appear on the ballot; (3) an alternative measure appearing on the ballot that the legislature proposes to an initiative to the legislature; (4) a referendum bill referred to voters by the legislature; and (5) a referendum measure appearing on the ballot. Fiscal impact statements must be written in clear and concise language, avoid legal and technical terms when possible, and be filed with the secretary of state no later than the tenth day of August. Fiscal impact statements may include easily understood graphics.
A fiscal impact statement must describe any projected increase or decrease in revenues, costs, expenditures, or indebtedness that the state or local governments will experience if the ballot measure were approved by state voters. Where appropriate, a fiscal impact statement may include both estimated dollar amounts and a description placing the estimated dollar amounts into context. A fiscal impact statement must include both a summary of not to exceed one hundred words and a more detailed statement that includes the assumptions that were made to develop the fiscal impacts.
Fiscal impact statements must be available online from the secretary of state's web site and included in the state voters' pamphlet. Additional information may be posted on the web site of the office of financial management. [2009 c 415 7; 2004 c 266 4. Prior: 2002 c 139 1. Formerly RCW 29.79.075.]

RCW 29A.72.030 Time for filing various types.
Initiative measures proposed to be submitted to the people must be filed with the secretary of state within ten months prior to the election at which they are to be submitted, and the signature petitions must be filed with the secretary of state not less than our months before the next general statewide election. Initiative measures proposed to be submitted to the legislature must be filed with the secretary of state within ten months prior to the next regular session of the legislature at which they are to be submitted, and the signature petitions must be filed with the secretary of state not less than ten days before such regular session of the legislature.
(..)
A proposed initiative or referendum measure may be filed no earlier than the opening of the secretary of state's office for business pursuant to RCW 42.04.060 on the first day filings are permitted, and any initiative or referendum petition must be filed not later than the close of business on the last business day in the specified period for submission of signatures. If a filing deadline falls on a Saturday, the office of the secretary of state must be open for the transaction of business under this section from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on that Saturday. [2003 c 111 1804; 1987 c 161 1; 1965 c 9 29.79.020. Prior: (i) 1913 c 138 1, part; RRS 5397, part. (ii) 1913 c 138 6, part; RRS 5402, part. (iii) 1913 c 138 5, part; RRS 5401, part. (iv) 1913 c 138 7, part; RRS 5403, part. Formerly RCW 29.79.020.]

RCW 29A.72.150 Petitions--Signatures--Number necessary.
When the person proposing any initiative measure has obtained signatures of legal voters equal to or exceeding eight percent of the votes cast for the office of governor at the last regular gubernatorial election prior to the submission of the signatures for verification, or when the person or organization demanding any referendum of an act or part of an act of the legislature has obtained a number of signatures of legal voters equal to or exceeding four percent of the votes cast for the office of governor at the last regular gubernatorial election prior to the submission of the signatures for verification, the petition containing the signatures may be submitted to the secretary of state for filing. [2003 c 111 1816; 1982 c 116 12; 1965 c 9 29.79.120. Prior: 1913 c 138 11, part; RRS 5407, part. See also State Constitution Art. 2 1A (Amendment 30), (L. 1955, p. 1860, S.J.R. No. 4). Formerly RCW 29.79.120.]
RCW 29A.72.160 Petitions--Time for filing. The time for submitting initiative or referendum petitions to the secretary of state for filing is as follows: (..)
(3) An initiative petition proposing a measure to be submitted to the legislature at its next ensuing regular session must be submitted not less than ten days before the commencement of the session. [2003 c 111 1817. Prior: 1965 c 9 29.79.140; prior: 1913 c 138 12, part; RRS 5408, part. Formerly RCW 29.79.140.]

References: TITLE 29A RCW - ELECTIONS (accessed Sept.22, 2017)

Subject Matter:

To propose bills, laws, and to enact or reject the same at the polls

Actors

Author:
Citizens
Initiator:
Citizens : Legislature rejects initiative petition
Decision maker:
Electorate
Lead of counter proposal:
Legislature : RCW 29A.72.260 Rejected initiatives to legislature. Whenever any measure proposed by initiative petition for submission to the legislature is rejected by the legislature or the legislature takes no action thereon before the end of the regular session at which it is submitted, the secretary of state shall certify the serial number and ballot title thereof to the county auditors for printing on the ballots at the next ensuing general election in like manner as initiative measures for submission to the people are certified. [2003 c 111 1826. Prior: 1965 c 9 29.79.270; prior: 1913 c 138 21; RRS 5417. Formerly RCW 29.79.270.] RCW 29A.72.270 Alternatives to initiatives to the legislature. If the legislature, having rejected a measure submitted to it by initiative petition, proposes a different measure dealing with the same subject, the secretary of state shall give that measure the same number as that borne by the initiative measure followed by the letter "B." Such measure so designated as "Alternative Measure No. . . . . B," together with the ballot title thereof, when ascertained, shall be certified by the secretary of state to the county auditors for printing on the ballots for submission to the voters for their approval or rejection in like manner as initiative measures for submission to the people are certified. [2003 c 111 1827. Prior: 1965 c 9 29.79.280; prior: 1913 c 138 22, part; RRS 5418, part. Formerly RCW 29.79.280.] RCW 29A.72.280 Concise description for alternative to initiative to the legislature. For a measure designated as "Alternative Measure No. . . . . B," the secretary of state shall obtain from the measure adopting the alternative, or otherwise the attorney general, a concise description of the alternative measure that differs from the concise description of the original initiative and indicates as clearly as possible the essential differences between the two measures. [2003 c 111 1828. Prior: 2000 c 197 6; 1965 c 9 29.79.290; prior: 1913 c 138 22, part; RRS 5418, part. Formerly RCW 29.79.290.]

Requirements

Number Of Signatures:
Equal to or exceeding eight percent of the votes cast
Available Time:
Ten months prior to the next regular session of the legislature at which they are to be submitted, and the signature petitions must be filed with the secretary of state not less than ten days before such regular session of the legislature.
Turnout Quorum:
1/3rd of the total votes cast
Approval Quorum:
Majority of votes cast
Geographical Quorum:
No geographical quorum found in legal source
Excluded Issues:
Other Formal Requirements:

Procedural Elements

Collection Mode:
free
Specify Collection Mode:
Wording Of Ballot Question:

When conflicting measures are submitted to the people the ballots shall be so printed that a voter can express separately by making one cross (X) for each, two preferences, first, as between either measure and neither, and secondly, as between one and the other. If the majority of those voting on the first issue is for neither, both fail, but in that case the votes on the second issue shall never- theless be carefully counted and made public. If a majority voting on the first issue is for either, then the measure receiving a majority of the votes on the second issue shall be law. (..)

References: Constitution of Washington, 1889 (accessed Sept.22, 2017)

RCW 29A.72.290 Printing ballot titles and short descriptions on ballots--Order and form.
The county auditor of each county shall print on the official ballots for the election at which initiative and referendum measures and measures for an advisory vote of the people are to be submitted to the people for their approval or rejection, the serial numbers and ballot titles certified by the secretary of state and the serial numbers and short descriptions of measures for an advisory vote of the people. They must appear under separate headings in the order of the serial numbers as follows:
(2) Bills passed by the legislature and ordered referred to the people by referendum petition will be under the heading, "Passed by the Legislature and Ordered Referred by Petition";
(4) Measures proposed to the legislature and rejected or not acted upon will be under the heading, "Proposed to the Legislature and Referred to the People";
(5) Measures proposed to the legislature and alternative measures passed by the legislature in lieu thereof will be under the heading, "Initiated by Petition and Alternative by Legislature";

Interaction With Authorities:

RCW 29A.72.170 Petitions--Acceptance or rejection by secretary of state.
The secretary of state may refuse to file any initiative or referendum petition being submitted upon any of the following grounds:
(1) That the petition does not contain the information required by RCW 29A.72.110, 29A.72.120, or 29A.72.130.
(2) That the petition clearly bears insufficient signatures.
(3) That the time within which the petition may be filed has expired. In case of such refusal, the secretary of state shall endorse on the petition the word "submitted" and the date, and retain the petition pending appeal.
If none of the grounds for refusal exists, the secretary of state must accept and file the petition. [2003 c 111 § 1818; 1982 c 116 § 13; 1965 c 9 § 29.79.150. Prior: (i) 1913 c 138 § 11, part; RRS § 5407, part. (ii) 1913 c 138 § 12, part; RRS § 5408, part. Formerly RCW 29.79.150.]

RCW 29A.72.180 Petitions--Review of refusal to file.
If the secretary of state refuses to file an initiative or referendum petition when submitted for filing, the persons submitting it for filing may, within ten days after the refusal, apply to the superior court of Thurston county for an order requiring the secretary of state to bring the petitions before the court, and for a writ of mandate to compel the secretary of state to file it. The application takes precedence over other cases and matters and must be speedily heard and determined.
If the court issues the citation, and determines that the petition is legal in form and apparently contains the requisite number of signatures and was submitted for filing within the time prescribed in the Constitution, it shall issue its mandate requiring the secretary of state to file it as of the date of submission for filing.
The decision of the superior court granting a writ of mandate is final. [2003 c 111 § 1819; 1965 c 9 § 29.79.160. Prior: 1913 c 138 § 13, part; RRS § 5409, part. Formerly RCW 29.79.160.]

RCW 29A.72.230 Petitions--Verification and canvass of signatures, observers--Statistical sampling--Initiatives to legislature, certification of.
Upon the filing of an initiative or referendum petition, the secretary of state shall proceed to verify and canvass the names of the legal voters on the petition.
The verification and canvass of signatures on the petition may be observed by persons representing the advocates and opponents of the proposed measure so long as they make no record of the names, addresses, or other information on the petitions or related records during the verification process except upon the order of the superior court of Thurston county. The secretary of state may limit the number of observers to not less than two on each side, if in his or her opinion, a greater number would cause undue delay or disruption of the verification process. Any such limitation shall apply equally to both sides. The secretary of state may use any statistical sampling techniques for this verification and canvass which have been adopted by rule as provided by chapter 34.05 RCW. No petition will be rejected on the basis of any statistical method employed, and no petition will be accepted on the basis of any statistical method employed if such method indicates that the petition contains fewer than the requisite number of signatures of legal voters. If the secretary of state finds the same name signed to more than one petition, he or she shall reject all but the first such valid signature. For an initiative to the legislature, the secretary of state shall transmit a certified copy of the proposed measure to the legislature at the opening of its session and, as soon as the signatures on the petition have been verified and canvassed, the secretary of state shall send to the legislature a certificate of the facts relating to the filing, verification, and canvass of the petition. [2003 c 111 § 1823. Prior: 1993 c 368 § 1; 1982 c 116 § 15; 1977 ex.s. c 361 § 105; 1969 ex.s. c 107 § 1; 1965 c 9 § 29.79.200; prior: 1933 c 144 § 1; 1913 c 138 § 15; RRS § 5411. Formerly RCW 29.79.200.]

References: TITLE 29A RCW - ELECTIONS (accessed Sept.22, 2017)

Supervision And Support:
Transparency And Finance:

Practice

Archive:
Remarks: