Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 1973 NO. 13 > May 30 1973

In the event that a sufficient number of petition signatures are obtained by June 6, 1973, to qualify Referendum Measure No. 36 for submission to the voters, this measure will be voted upon at the November 6, 1973, state general election provided for in chapter 4, Laws of 1973.

AGO 1996 NO. 13 > Aug 6 1996

1.  Under the Washington State Constitution, article 2, section 24, an initiative authorizing forms of electromechanical gaming not previously authorized would require a sixty percent majority vote to be effective. 2.  The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (25 U.S.C. §§ 2701 et. seq. ) does not preempt state authority to set state policy on gambling, or to determine the procedures by which state gambling laws will be adopted and/or modified.

AGO 2006 NO. 13 > May 31 2006

1. RCW 29A.72.110-.130, as amended by Laws of 2005, ch. 239, requires each initiative or referendum petition to contain a printed “declaration” concerning signature gathering and the penalties for forged and false signatures, but does not require that such a declaration actually be signed or provide any legal consequences for failure to sign or for signing a false declaration.  2. If an initiative or referendum petition fails to contain the printed “declaration” required by RCW 29A.72.110–.130 as amended by Laws of 2005, ch. 239, the secretary of state may refuse to file the petition or accept the signatures on such a petition, under RCW 29A.72.170.

AGO 1982 NO. 13 > Oct 28 1982

Where the voters of a home rule charter county possesses the general power of initiative, § 19, chapter 49, Laws of 1982, 1st Ex. Sess. requires that the "special initiative procedure" provided for in that section conform to the requirements of the county's initiative procedure.

AGLO 1973 NO. 14 > Jan 25 1973

In order to amend the provisions of Alternative Measure 43-B, the "Shoreline Management Act of 1971," during the current (1973) legislative session, it will be necessary that any such amendment have the approval of a two-thirds majority of the members of each house of the legislature, unless the amendments are contained in a referendum bill.

AGO 1983 NO. 15 > Aug 5 1983

As a consequence of the enactment of § § 2 and 3, chapter 99, Laws of 1983, every county or city ordinance enacted after the effective date of that act (April  22, 1983) which imposes or alters the rate of a local sales or use tax imposed under RCW 82.14.030(2), or a real estate excise tax imposed under RCW 82.46.010(2), is subject to the referendum procedures prescribed by those two sections of the subject act.

AGO 1976 NO. 15 > Aug 5 1976

(1) Recent decisions by the United States Supreme Court holding mandatory death penalty laws to be unconstitutional have rendered RCW 9A.32.046, enacted pursuant to Initiative No. 316, constitutionally unenforceable; however, in line with other supreme court decisions involving death penalty laws a constitutionally valid death penalty statute may still be enacted in accordance with guidelines set forth in those decisions.    (2) Because RCW 9A.32.046 was enacted as a part of Initiative No. 316 at the 1975 state general election, that statute may not be repealed by the legislature for a period of two years following its enactment and it may only be amended during such period by a two-thirds majority vote of the members of both houses of the legislature; however, this existing state death penalty statute may be amended or repealed at any time pursuant to an initiative or referendum measure approved by the voters.   (3) It is possible that legislation establishing a new, constitutionally valid, death penalty for the state of Washington could be enacted by the legislature by a simple majority vote, even during the immediate two-year period following the passage of Initiative No. 316, if the new law is not drafted as either an amendment or repeal of RCW 9A.32.046.

AGO 1965 NO. 18 > May 6 1965

House Bill No. 714 if passed by both houses of the legislature with the provision for referral to the people for adoption or rejection at the November, 1966, biennial regular election (§ 10), need not be submitted to the governor for his approval or rejection since his veto power does not, under Article II, § 1, Amendment 7, Washington Constitution, extend to such referred measures.

AGO 1959 NO. 18 > Feb 27 1959

A majority of the attorneys in this office who have reviewed and considered this matter are of the opinion that the initiative, if enacted, would be invalid in its application to all persons, as that term is defined therein, except municipal corporations of this state.  Since the single expressed purpose of the initiative is to conserve the state's fishery resources and this single purpose would be defeated by its invalidity as to some of the persons against whom it is intended to operate, the act, irrespective of the severability clause, must be construed as not being severable and, therefore, ineffective for any purpose.

AGO 1988 NO. 25 > Oct 31 1988

1.If Initiative 97 (relating to cleanup of hazardous waste spills) is approved by the voters in the November 1988 election, the Legislature would still be free to enact certain portions of House Bill 1967 (a 1988 bill dealing with regulation of underground storage tanks and cleanup of petroleum spills) without requiring approval of at least two-thirds of the members of both houses of the Legislature, but certain other provisions of House Bill 1967 would constitute "amendments" to the initiative measure and could not properly be enacted by the 1989 Legislature without the extraordinary majority required by the state constitution for amendments to initiative measures.2.If Alternative Measure 97B (also relating to cleanup of hazardous waste spills) is approved by the voters in the November 1988 election, the Legislature would be free to enact House Bill 1967 without requiring approval of at least two-thirds of the members of both houses of the Legislature.3.If either Initiative 97 or Alternative Measure 97B is approved by the voters in the November 1988 election, the Legislature's enactment within two years of some or all of the provisions of House Bill 1967 would not constitute an unconstitutional repeal of either initiative measure.