Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson


Olympia - September 20, 2001 - Today the state Supreme Court unanimously held that Initiative 722 is unconstitutional because it asked voters to consider two unrelated subjects in the same bill, a violation of Article II, Section 19 of the state Constitution. The Attorney General's Office defended the Initiative, as it does all laws passed by the Legislature or by the people through the initiative process. We believe the decision was based on thorough arguments by all parties.

Like the Court's opinion last year declaring Initiative 695 unconstitutional, this case reminds us all of the difficulties inherent in drafting new laws. Initiatives passed by the people are subject to the same constitutional requirements as bills passed by the Legislature. It is important that constitutional requirements be carefully considered in the drafting of new legislation.