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March 9, 1971
Honorable Sid W. Morrison
State Representative, 15th District
Olympia, Washington 98501
Cite as: AGLO 1971 No. 36 (not official)
By recent letter you have requested our opinion on two questions which you anticipate will arise out of adjournment sine die of the regular session of the 42nd legislature and the convening of a special session. Your questions are as follows:
"(1) In the event that the Governor shall convene a special session of the legislature, is there any constitutional limitation or restriction which would prevent the House of Representatives from taking a written roll call vote in open session on each bill, memorial or resolution that has already been passed by the House during the regular session but which has not yet been voted on by the Senate?
"(2) If the answer to the question above is in the affirmative, is the House prevented by any constitutional limitation or restriction from using a written roll call which includes the titles of all bills passed by the House during the regular session but not voted on by the Senate, and to prescribe rules whereby each member of the House shall vote in writing on each of such bills without interruption? . . ."
For the purposes of these questions, you have advised us that we may assume that
". . . at the conclusion of such voting the result on each bill, memorial or resolution shall be announced, and the names of members voting for and aginst the same shall be entered in due course on the journal of the House in accordance with the provisions of Article II, Section 22 of the State Constitution."
[[Orig. Op. Page 2]]
Based upon this stipulation, it is our considered opinion that either of these procedures would be constitutionally permissible. In other words, we find no constitutional limitation or restriction which would preclude the utilization of either of these two procedures as a means of passage, during the special session, of bills originally passed by the House of Representatives during the regular session (but not passed by the Senate) ‑ provided, of course, that each of these bills is first reintroduced in the House of Representatives in accordance with the procedures set forth in AGO 65-66 No. 10 [[to Robert M. Schaefer, State Representative on March 3, 1965]], copy enclosed; see, also, AGO 65-66 No. 12 [[to Robert C. Bailey, State Senator and Marshall A. Neill, State Senator on March 5, 1965]], copy enclosed.
All of the constitutional provisions which bear upon the procedures to be followed by the legislature with respect to the introduction and passage of laws are set forth as Appendix "A" to the first of these two 1965 opinions. And, of course, in accordance with the views expressed in the second of these opinions, compliance must be had with all of these applicable provisions during the specific session at which a particular law is enacted.
In so far as the actual matter of voting upon bills is concerned, the only constitutional requirements with which the legislature must comply are those set forth in §§ 21 and 22 of Article II of the Constitution, as follows:
"The yeas and nays of the members of either house shall be entered on the journal, on the demand of one‑sixth of the members present."
"No bill shall become a law unless on its final passage the vote be taken by yeas and nays, the names of the members voting for and against the same be entered on the journal of each house, and a majority of the members elected to each house be recorded thereon as voting in its favor."
However, the factual assumption which your letter advises us to make in considering your questions would seem fully to encompass these requirements.
[[Orig. Op. Page 3]]
We trust the foregoing will be of assistance to you.
Very truly yours,
FOR THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
Philip H. Austin
Deputy Attorney General